South African Deputy President Sells Most Assets to Nhleko Group

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has completed the sale of most of his business interests to a company led by MTN Group Ltd. Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko, creating a group with more than $730 million in assets.

Nhleko’s Pembani Group will merge with Shanduka Group, the Johannesburg-based companies said in a statement on Monday. Ramaphosa’s family trust had a 30 percent stake in Shanduka, which he founded in 2001 after quitting government when he failed to become Nelson Mandela’s deputy president.

“The group will have a portfolio value in excess of 9 billion rand ($734 million) which will give it significant scale, with liquidity to pursue value-creating opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,” the companies said.

Shanduka has stakes in 29 businesses, ranging from Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s biggest lender, to mobile-phone company MTN and a coal-mining venture with Glencore Plc. Ramaphosa, whose remaining company shareholdings will be held in blind trusts, re-entered politics in 2012 when he became deputy president of the ruling African National Congress. He became the country’s deputy president last year.

With a fortune of $550 million, Ramaphosa is South Africa’s richest black person after Patrice Motsepe, his brother-in-law, according to the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times newspaper. Nhleko is the fifth-richest black South African with assets of $142 million, according to the newspaper. He oversaw MTN’s development into Africa’s biggest mobile-phone operator.

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