Trinitas on prowl for acquisitions

Trinitas Private Equity, an independent private equity fund, says it is looking to invest R200 to R300 million on acquiring stakes in about three mid-sized companies in the short to medium term.

A successful deployment of funds towards these acquisitions would put Trinitas closer to a position of fundraising for a second fund.

Trinitas has to deploy 75% or invest R500 million of its current fund before considering a new fund. At the moment, Trinitas Private Equity has “deployed approximately R350 million of the R670 million fund,” said Soteris Theorides, one of the founding partners of Trinitas. The fund closed in 2011 and is in its third year of investment.

Trinitas recently acquired a 70% stake in Auto Industrial Group, a leading manufacturer and supplier of automotive components for the major automotive assembly plants. Trinitas did not disclose how much it had acquired the Auto Industrial stake for.

“In most of our investments we have deployed somewhere between R50 million and R75 million,” said Theorides. “What we liked about the company is its long established track record, with good growth prospects. It’s been in operation for 45 years. It has an established management team.”

The remaining 30% of Auto Industrial, which was previously wholly owned by ZF, a German company, will now be held by management.

Theorides said the plan was to further grow Auto Industrial and position it for more exports and new products.

Trinitas’ other investments include Le-Sel Research, a contract manufacturer in the cosmetic and domestic consumer goods sector in South Africa, Mainstreet Holdings, a distributor of branded and non-branded general merchandise and One Property Holdings, which is involved in developing retail shopping centres.

One Property Holdings is also part of a management consortium holding a significant minority stake in Trudon, an advertising and search information publisher, which owns Yellow Pages.