Sandbox Holdings and Aureos Capital have finalised a R66-million deal whereby 20% of the company has been transferred to company management, and the investment capital firm has upped its shareholding from 10% to 39%.
The management buy out (MBO) team comprises 15 senior company executives, and the transfer of shares to management bolsters the existing 20% management shareholding largely held by Paul Wootten, a Sandbox founding shareholder and current CEO.
In 2008, 10% of Sandbox was acquired directly by Aureos Southern African Fund from the founding shareholders, and Aureos simultaneously funded a 21% BEE stake in Sandbox.
“We believe that Africa has fantastic and exciting growth potential despite the downturn in global markets,” says Ron den Besten, managing partner of Aureos South Africa. “The products and offerings of Sandbox are in demand in many emerging markets and we are confident that growth companies in Africa will benefit from the strategic value of Sandbox’s suite of technology solutions. With Aureos’ networks throughout Africa and the emerging markets, we will be able to add significant value to the business.”
Sandbox CEO, Paul Wootten adds: “To sustain company growth and development, it is imperative senior management and ultimately all staff share in the financial performance they are called upon to deliver. We are constantly evolving and have implemented the necessary corporate structures to support our entrepreneurial flair. The MBO is another step in support of this philosophy.”
Wootten says that having Aureos as an anchor investor supports Sandbox’s ability to drive home its competitive advantage not only in South Africa, but also throughout the African continent and internationally. “There is a mutually agreed five-year strategy and commitments from both teams on issues such as strategic intent, tactical execution, growth and market potential," he says. "Aureos will remain a valued shareholder for our next exciting phase of growth and development."
According to Wootten, Sandbox’s current strategy is to complement its existing organic operations with strategic and complementary acquisitions, leveraging its current turnover base of R350-million.
“Our core business units focus on high growth areas such as Intelligent environmental management, high-end electronic surveillance, corporate compliance, ERP and CRM,” he says. “Our blue chip and multinational clients rely on Sandbox when adhering to strengthening legislative requirements and global energy initiatives.”