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KFC acquisition above board, says Dixon-Warren

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Local companies have raised concerns over the liquidated KFC franchise in Botswana, which has been acquired by South African company, Baobab Khulisani. In November last year, Bradlymore, a joint venture company between Vivo Energy and Baobab Khulisani South Africa, acquired KFC Botswana from the liquidator, Nigel Dixon-Warren.

Vivo Energy through its network of Shell-branded retail service stations in Botswana is a marketer of various oil products including retail fuels, commercial fuels and lubricants. On the other hand, Baobab Khulisani, a South African KFC franchisee operates 11 stores in South Africa. Speaking during the public hearing at Competition Authority on Friday, one of the local bidders, Sefalana Group Managing Director, Chandra Chauhan questioned how the liquidator chose the other company over them and how it was also given an opportunity to increase its bid but the local companies were not.

The liquidator, Nigel Dixon-Warren said there were no reservations for citizen companies and the deal was subject to the Fraanchiser’s interest on which bid should be approved. He said his judgement was not compromised because he has satisfied all the requirements as per the liquidation process and laws in Botswana. “We cannot share the price of the preferred bidder because it is confidential information.

In this liquidation process we have checked with Ministry of Investment and Trade if there are specific reservations for citizen companies for these franchise but we couldn’t find any so the bid was open to international companies and we had 65 respondents. The process was completely fair,” said Dixon-Warren. Chief Executive of Competition Authority, Tebelelo Pule said they are still assessing the acquisition and will make the final decision in due time. “Normal assessment would be ongoing so this public hearing would not affect the final decision.

“This hearing is intended to allow the parties to the transaction to make verbal representations to the Authority with respect to the transaction as well as allow their competitors and the general public to express their views on the acquisition,” said Pule. The KFC Botswana portfolio, which consists of 12 restaurants and two new stores, are yet to open this year, in Pilane Mall and Mowana Mall. The business was placed under liquidation in June last year after the company failed to service its debts and creditors.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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