CFAO has begun negotiations with Steinhoff Group aims at securing three-quarters of Unitrans Motor Holding, one of the largest car dealerships in South Africa.
South Africa is by far the biggest new car market in Africa, accounting for 45% of all units sold across the continent, with 550 000 new cars bought in 2018. These figures are a result of a Pretoria’s willingness to create a strong automotive industry to support the country’s economic development. This has made the market very attractive, as the CFAO move attests. CFAO is an international group, a subsidiary of the Toyota Tsusho Group, specializing in automotive and pharmaceutical distribution and has a direct presence in 36 African countries.
On March 28th, CFAO entered in to an exclusive negotiation period with Steinhoff Group for the acquisition of 74.9% of the issued share capital of Unitrans Motor Holding (Pty) Ltd based on a Heads of Terms signed between the parties. Should the deal go through would be a major opportunity for CFAO to extend its scope of activity, since Unitrans Motor Group is having 99 dealerships in South Africa and sells the vehicles of over 10 car manufacturers. Unitrans has a significant market share of the top selling affordable brands, as well as several luxury brands: it employs 6,000 people and generates €1.5 billion in revenue.
Richard Bielle, CFAO’s chairman and CEO commented: "By intending to enter Africa’s biggest car market, CFAO sets a key milestone in its pan-African development and reinforces its South African footprint, currently constituted of procurement and logistic services to the local automotive industry."