Sometimes a bit of grey at the temples gives an analyst far more context of history when large deals are announced. Especially if the deal in question is the largest yet undertaken by a business.Cashbuild said in early August it was acquiring The Building Co (TBC) from Pepkor for R1bn in a debt-financed deal.I’ve been covering Cashbuild for 25 years. It rarely does deals. It never issues shares and it dislikes debt. Now out of the blue it buys a sizeable competitor with an indifferent track record using R1.1bn of debt.Cashbuild is a R4.8bn market capitalisation stock known for its urban and rural building materials stores servicing bakkie builders and selling mainly for cash.Its only material deal was acquiring P&L Hardware in 2016 for R350m. That deal didn’t go too well as the business missed its profit warranties.Cashbuild has lost its footing over the past few years. When maverick CEO Pat Goldrick stepped down in 2012, CFO Werner de Jager took over. Their styles were materially d...

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