Michael Sassoon. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Michael Sassoon. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Shares of boutique financial services group Sasfin holdings jumped more than 13% on Thursday after it said that a Dutch investment company intends to buy equity in the business.

Sasfin’s share price jumped by as much as 18% after a stock exchange announcement on Thursday that it was in discussions with investment company Arise that could lead to the latter becoming a “shareholder of reference”.

Sasfin’s share price closed 13.3% higher at R31.50 a share.

Arise is backed by three anchor investors which include the Norwegian private equity fund, Norfund, owned by the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs. The other two shareholders are Dutch financial services group Rabobank, and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO).

Arise’s purpose is to partner sustainable locally owned financial services providers in Sub-Saharan Africa who are “searching for a way to keep their independence but need financial expertise and long-term capital to prosper”.

The company owns stakes in a portfolio of financial services businesses on the continent which most prominently include Togo-based pan-African banking group, Ecobank.

While no definition was provided by Sasfin as to what defines a “shareholder of reference”, one analyst suggested it could mean acquiring a shareholding of 10%-15%. 

According to data supplied by Bloomberg, Sasfin has a free float of 5.3-million shares of 32.3-million issued shares equating to 16% of the issued share capital.

The Sassoon family and black-owned investment group Wiphold own 67% of Sasfin.

thompsonw@businesslive.co.za