Grand Parade Investments Limited (GPI) today announced its intention to purchase Carentan Investments (Proprietary) Limited which is the majority shareholder in the Thuo Gaming businesses. Thuo Gaming is an established operator of limited payout machines (LPMs) in South Africa. Carentan is wholly owned by the Australian-based Tatts Group Limited (“Tatts”).

The R170-million transaction, which remains subject to conditions precedent and regulatory approvals, will further boost GPI’s gaming footprint in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Hassen Adams, Chairman of GPI, said, “This deal is all about maintaining our growth trajectory with increased control. The deal represents an important milestone in achieving our vision of becoming a respected and major force in the African Gaming and Leisure sector. I am hugely excited by this opportunity, as the domain of gaming operators has always been an exclusive club. By becoming more operationally oriented, GPI remains true to its core values of transformation and empowerment.”

“This opportunity represents a natural progression towards our long held ambition of being a black empowerment company with more direct control of our destiny, especially now that we are able to manage and operate our own business.”

Adrian Funkey, CEO of GPI added, “With our management team we are confident that we can drive this new operating component of our business very successfully. This transaction gives us access to the machine procurement and centralized operations of the Thuo business, which gives us the advantage of enabling us to become more integrated and efficient .”

“Thuo Western Cape is already a strongly cash generative business and GPI is confident that Thuo Kwazulu-Natal will follow suite once its site roll out program reaches critical mass. The two businesses have developed strong market positions that can be further improved through synergies within the GPI group. Additionally, the historical earnings of the Thuo Gaming group have been impacted by the costs associated with unsuccessful licence applications, which obviously are non recurring.”

“We would like to thank our longstanding partner, Tatts, for affording us the opportunity to acquire the ultimate holding company of the Carentan Group which delivers us control of the majority of shares we do not already own in the operating businesses. We understand Thuo’s business model very well, having been intimately involved in the development of the business since inception. We are confident that we will be able to continue to grow it into the future.” added Funkey.

Said Adams, “As GPI consolidates its influence on its portfolio of assets, we will be looking to drive further gains in South Africa’s gaming and leisure sector and, in turn, increase transformation and our support for local communities. With our track record of transformation and governance and our focus on providing returns to our stakeholders, it should be clear that our commitment to the triple bottom line is genuine and not something we do because we have to, but rather because we want to.”

“The fact that the South African gambling dispensation is so well regulated gives us the confidence to make this major investment,” added Funkey

For further information, please contact Tamra Veley on 083 251 3658 or Enid Vickers on 083 460 3910.