Gear Ratio up for sale

Financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel has finally initiated its long-trailed plan to dispose of what it considers to be ‘non-core’ assets. It has published a newspaper notice calling for expressions of interest from companies interested in buying Denel Gear Ratio, a unit of Denel Vehicle Systems.

According to its website, Denel Gear Ratio produces power shift transmissions, transfer gearboxes, axles, transaxles, torque converters, traction gears and wheel stations. Its portfolio “ranges from in-house custom-designed and manufactured solutions to standard drive-train options developed in partnership with strategically selected world-class partners”.

Denel Gear Ratio specialises in manufacturing items like axles (such as making Casspir axles under license), maintaining Rooikat and G6 power packs, refurbishing Casspir and Mamba axles and Olifant transmission systems. In addition, Gear Ratio does commercial work (50%), mainly for Bell trucks.

The disposal of Gear Ratio has been dubbed Project Emerald by Denel. Interested companies had until October 11 to register with Denel. Potential bidders must provide their full company name, a short description of their company, the reason for their interest in Gear Ratio, their current black economic empowerment rating and their website address. All this information had to be provided by email.

In its notice, Denel also listed other key elements of the process. The group would not facilitate, in any way, any vendor. Bidders had to have the required funds, and provide proof of this, to timeously conclude the deal. Bidders had to be companies and/or investors in good standing. Finally, bidders had to show the necessary knowledge of the sector in which Gear Ratio functioned.

Because of Covid-19 safety protocols, Denel emphasised that it would not allow physical enquiries regarding Project Emerald, at any of its offices. Those companies seeking to bid for Gear Ratio were due to be fully informed of the selection criteria and the bid submission process on October 18.