SAVCA speaks to Agile Capital CEO Tshego Sefolo (TS) to find out more about the firm, their business highlights and future plans.
Tell us a bit about Agile Capital
TS: 2018 Agile Capital was launched in 2015 as a result of a management-buy out. The name means ‘to build’ in Tswana and in English defines agility and speed.
Agile Capital actively targets investments that offer the ability to assert meaningful change. We deliberately pursue opportunities across diverse sectors and consequently hold a broad portfolio spanning a wide range of industries. We specifically seek out businesses offering tangible growth potential coupled with solid operational track record.
As an on-balance sheet investor we do not have pressure to exit our investments which enables us to forge long-term partnerships, thereby generating superior returns. We really look to invest with organisations that have the same inherent ‘DNA’. You need to be involved or alternatively partner with trusted associates.
What have been some of your highlights in the past year or two?
TS: We have invested aggressively in the specialised environmental management sector. We think that with increased consciousness towards the environment, this will prove to be compelling.
Additionally, we are particularly interested in challenging misperceptions of BEE. We believe that there is real value in BEE partnerships, but it means really doing your homework and making sure that you find the right partners. It’s absolutely critical.
With the mining sector being one of the largest employers in South Africa, Agile Capital acquired a substantial share within market leader Bluhm Burton Engineering (Pty) Ltd, in a noteworthy BEE transaction.
Agile Capital acquired a significant holding in local catering and facilities management service provider, Feedem. We partnered with RMB Corvest, and see this as a platform deal to build a bigger soft services business. Through this transaction Feedem will be owned by Agile Capital, our partner and the management team with the founders holding a residual share in the business.
Lastly, in line with our proven investment approach of backing robust management teams, we have increased our shareholdings substantially in the businesses of Provest Holdings, Provantage Media Group and Acquatico Laboratories.
What can we expect from Agile Capital in future?
TS: Our goal is to build a significant investment company with interests in diversified sectors. We want to partner with strong management teams for long-term growth. That’s where our interests lie.
We’d also like to explore the role that Agile Capital can play in a South African growth context. The concept of Empowerment is maturing and additionally we see our role as an enabler in this important part of the economy. We are trying to ensure that the businesses we partner with truly are making a difference.
Our current fund is significantly invested. We are in the process of executing a transaction in the specialised services industry, subsequent to which, our fund will be substantially invested. Parallel to this, we are at advanced stages of securing our next pool of funding which will position us well for our next phase of growth.
Our existing portfolio also boasts some assets which are relatively matured, having been acquired in our first fund. Whilst we are not under pressure to exit these investment, we continuously explore ways to maximise value for our shareholders.