Thelo Rolling Stock of South Africa Plans 30% Equity Stake Sale

Thelo Rolling Stock Leasing (Pty) Ltd., a South Africa rail financier, is seeking a partner to buy a 30 percent equity stake and help win new contracts around sub-Saharan Africa.

The company is looking for “a strategic equity partner that will lead the company forward,” Chairman Lumkile Mondi said by phone today from Johannesburg. “We need a partner with deep pockets. There are billions and billions of rands worth of projects in Africa.”

South Africa is part-way through a 312 billion-rand ($27.8 billion) infrastructure-development program to improve its rail network and better the efficiency of raw-materials exports. Closely held Thelo is targeting similar programs in countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya as it seeks to expand across the continent, Mondi said.

Thelo, 50 percent owned by South Africa’s International Development Corp., is in talks with African Exim Bank about a $200 million loan, according to Mondi. The company announced a $17.3 million deal today to finance four locomotives and 75 iron-ore wagons over 10 years for Swaziland Railway.

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