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Press release: Ethos acquires majority stake in The Eazi Group

Ethos acquires majority stake in The Eazi Group

Monday 25th January 2016

Ethos, a leading South African private equity investor, today announced an investment into The Eazi Group, Africa’s market leader in the rental, sale and servicing of work-at-height  and material handling solutions, including access platforms, telehandlers and accessories, in a deal valued at R1.6bn.

Ethos Fund VI has acquired 65% of the business, with an investment vehicle controlled by Jonathan Beare (Buffet Investments) and founding shareholders owning the remainder.

Founded in 2003, The Eazi Group—comprising Eazi Access Rentals, Eazi Sales & Services,  Eazi Africa and other subsidiaries—boasts the largest and most diverse fleet of boom lifts, scissor lifts, telehandlers and vertical personnel lifts on the African continent.  The Group services customers across various sectors of economy in the construction, shipping, manufacturing, FMCG, transport, entertainment and mining industries, by offering work-at-height and material handling solutions, including application solutions, machine training, on site project management and support. The Eazi Group has exclusive distribution rights for leading brands in South Africa, notably:

  • JLG, owned by NYSE-listed Oshkosh Corporation,  considered one of the world’s leading mobile high access equipment manufacturers;
  • Magni telescopic handler; and
  • Maeda mini cranes.

This latest transaction is Ethos Fund VI’s fifth investment in 12 months, following recent investments into:

  • Eaton Towers – a leading pan-African telecom-towers company;
  • Neopak – offers world-class paper-based packaging solutions across South Africa;
  • Twinsaver – a leading South African manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded tissue products; and,
  • Autozone – the largest privately owned automotive parts retailer and wholesaler in Southern Africa.

Ethos also announced the realisation of Plumblink to JSE-listed Bidvest in mid-2015, plus the sale of its shareholding in JSE-listed Transaction Capital last December.

Commenting on the investment, Shaun Zagnoev, Ethos partner, said:

“The Eazi Group is a prime example of South African pioneering spirit where visionary entrepreneurs identified a void in the market and through grit and determination established a new industry.  In a little over a decade, management built a differentiated business, offering service excellence, enhanced safety and innovative cost-effective solutions to their customers.  We are delighted to invest in the next phase of Eazi’s journey to reach full potential.”

Brett Fleming, CEO of The Eazi Group said:

“Ethos expressed interest in our business over many years, during which time we developed a trusted relationship.  When the opportunity presented itself, Ethos—with its value-add capability and experience in partnering owner-managed businesses—was the ideal partner to cultivate our growth strategy. ”

Speaking on behalf of Buffet Investments, Rudi Stumpf added:

“Buffet Investments was an early investor in Eazi having identified potential in the business.  We have enjoyed a successful partnership with management and now are delighted to partner with Ethos to rapidly expand the horizons of the company.”


Ethos Private Equity

Ethos is a leading South African private equity investor.

We were instrumental in establishing the asset class in the region, concluding the: first buyout (1984); first public-to-private deal (1992); first BEE deal (1994); and, first international fund raising (1996). We are currently investing Ethos Fund VI, with R8.4 billion of committed capital.