While businesses are still struggling to get back on their feet and regain some sense of normality, the third wave of Covid-19 infections is upon us and the challenge of lockdown restrictions still remains. The slow rate of the vaccine roll- out means that this pandemic is likely to be with us for some time. There is however a glimmer of hope when we look at how countries which are at the forefront of vaccination have progressed. Unfortunately in SA, this has resulted in most businesses adopting a rather cautious approach when making decisions, most opting for a cash conservation approach to preserve much needed liquidity.
What we have witnessed is that, due to a variety of reasons, whether to preserve balance sheets or to alleviate pressure from lenders, corporates have embarked on the sale of non-core assets. Whilst all of this bodes well for deal making, the question remains, what is the long-term impact of the pandemic on these businesses and how does one price that into a transaction?
Deal makers are currently experiencing a very interesting challenge in deciding what assets to invest in. Whilst one can never lose capital by not doing or concluding a deal, an opportunity like this may not present itself again and certainly not in this manner.
From an Agile perspective, we remain true to our first principle: To identify a business which has a defendable business case, irrespective of the current prevailing context. The simple question we always ask is “what is your ticket to the game” and it remains relevant. This quickly enables us to identify and differentiate long term sustainable businesses from those which are not.
Our confidence is regularly rewarded. Our partners remain poised for slow steady growth.
UniQ Benefit Solutions, previously known as Adcorp Support Services, was acquired from Adcorp Limited. UniQ has two divisions: Funeral Management Services (“FMS”) and AFS Employee Benefits (“AFS”). FMS, the larger of the two divisions, is a niche outsourced service provider to the long-term insurance industry which provides body repatriation and value-added services, such as emergency medical, funeral, legal and trauma support. Founded in 1997, FMS prides itself on the quality service it is able to provide clients through very difficult times.
AFS acts as a broker to provide tailored employee benefit solutions, including retirement benefits, medical and risk benefits. Agile partnered with RMB Corvest and the management team to acquire 100% of the business through a management buy- out which was concluded in March 2021. We are excited to start this new journey with this dynamic management team.