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South Africa: A steady flow for private equity

During the apartheid years and beyond corporate South Africa assembled unwieldy conglomerates to utilize domestic assets that could not be employed elsewhere. Now an economy that is opening up is going through a process of reshuffling and unbundling, with private-equity firms taking an increasingly important role. Richard Stovin-Bradford reports.

Largest South African companies by market capitalization
Company Rbn
Anglo American Corporation 64.5
Richemont 51.8
De Beers Consolidated 50.0
SA Breweries 40.6
Billiton 33.9
FirstRand 32.1
Nedcor 30.2
Minorco 28.0
Anglogold 24.4
Rembrandt Group 23.2
Anglo American Platinum 22.6
Stanbic 20.5
Liberty Life 19.7
Sasol 18.8
Dimension Data 18.6
Absa Group 18.4
Investec Group 18.2
Comparex Holdings 15.5
BOE 15.2
Anamint 14.9
Source: Johannesburg Stock Exchange

The concept of private equity is not new to corporate South Africa, but it is only in the past year or two that it has been recognized as a force for change.

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