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It was barely a month ago that deal-making dynamo Brian Joffe expressed his determination to quickly grow the market capitalisation of his new investment company Long4Life to R10bn. So the proposed acquisition of footwear and clothing brand Rage for R3.9bn — in a paper and cash deal — does not come as a huge surprise. Long4Life, which is already in the specialist consumer space via its investment in Holdsport, needed a mega-deal to sustain market interest in Long4Life. It’s clear that some punters still remain wary of Long4Life, discounting the chances of Joffe emulating the rapid acquisition strategy that built the old Bidvest into such an imposing corporate beast. The starkest difference between Long4Life and the old Bidvest is that the former is attempting to build scale rapidly with large transactions whereas the latter scaled up quickly by making regular, small incursions. Clearly Long4Life takes on more execution and strategic risk by pursuing assets with big price tags, but o...

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