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Powertech to buy out ABB stake, find BEE partner

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ABB South Africa, part of the global power and automation group, and Altron subsidiary Powertech today announced the restructuring of their shareholding in ABB Powertech Transformers, currently jointly owned in equal portions by the two groups. 

To facilitate the inclusion of an empowerment partner, ABB has decided to sell its 50% stake in ABB Powertech Transformers to Powertech for R320-million. Powertech, in turn, has agreed to sell 25,1% on to BEE investors.
Discussions with BEE partners, already involved in Powertech companies, are progressing and a further announcement will be made as soon as these negotiations have been finalised. Powertech’s purchase of ABB’s 50% shareholding is subject to the approval of the Competition Authorities.
ABB confirms its continued commitment to the African market and has signed a long term technology agreement with Powertech to support the realignment to promote transformation. This will allow the transformer company to maintain their leadership position through full access to ABB’s leading technology for power transformers ranging from 20 MVA to 795 MVA. ABB Powertech Transformers is the only transformer company that manufacturers the entire range of power transformers in sub-Sahara Africa.
Carlos Poñe, CEO of ABB South Africa, says: “ABB is enthusiastic about this opportunity to contribute positively to transformation and black economic empowerment. Paving the way for an empowerment partner in the transformer company will extend economic participation to a larger number of people previously denied access to the mainstream economy.
"We will no longer be shareholders in this particular business but ABB has a strong commitment to its growing South African operations, through which we will continue to serve our customers in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.”
Norbert Claussen, CEO of Powertech, comments: “ABB has always been a strong partner for us in the transformer business and we have now ensured that we are not only serving our customers’ best interests through world class technology and quality combined with local production in South Africa, but also by embracing the national imperative of empowerment and transformation with partners who will be adding value to the business on a going forward basis.”
ABB Powertech Transformers is the largest power transformer manufacturer on the African continent. With its world class facility in Pretoria West, it has been serving the African as well as overseas markets for many decades. It currently employs over 1 000 people and has an annual turnover in excess of R1-billion. Its current order book of approximately R1,2-billion is a reflection of the strong position the company has in the market, fully supporting the announced infrastructure spend by Eskom, Transnet and the local governmental authorities.