Romeo Kumalo to launch tech investment firm, sources say - TechCentral

Romeo Kumalo to launch tech investment firm, sources say

Romeo Kumalo

Former Vodacom Group executive Romeo Kumalo has started a tech-focused South African investment firm and aims to raise as much as US$300-million (R2.9-billion) in an initial public offering next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Kumalo, who led Vodacom’s international business until 2016, has teamed up with fellow South African business veterans including banker Michael Jordaan to start the company, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t yet public.

The firm, called LLH Capital, aims to invest in Internet-related businesses and industries such as drones and car tracking, they said. Along with a joint listing in Johannesburg and Mauritius, LLH plans to raise a further $250-million to $300-million for a deals fund, said one of the people.

A representative of LLH Capital declined to comment on the matter.

Investor sentiment is picking up in South Africa after President Cyril Ramaphosa committed to reversing years of economic stagnation and policy uncertainty under predecessor Jacob Zuma. Still, a successful listing for LLH in 2019 would follow a subdued year for South African IPOs.

Glass packaging maker Consol Holdings scrapped a plan to sell shares in April due to low investor demand, while Libstar Holdings sold stock at the bottom of its price range and has declined 42% since its debut. Quilter has slumped 11% since its spin-off from Old Mutual in June.

Since leaving Vodacom, Kumalo, 46, has publicly pushed efforts to spread the country’s wealth more equally between the black majority and the white minority, who still own most of the economy 24 years after the end of apartheid.  — (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP