Today’s Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (18 July)

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/17415/Entrepreneurship-Business-Stories-18-July/Multi-million deal for beauty chain, Sorbet
Long4Life, the investment holding company owned by businessman Brian Joffe, has concluded a Share Purchase Agreement for the acquisition of the Sorbet Group of companies comprising health, beauty and grooming outlets situated across South Africa and with an emerging footprint in the UK.

The acquisition, which was first announced in Long4Life’s Pre-Listing Statement of 31 March 2017, has been concluded for the entire issued share capital of Sorbet for a maximum consideration of R116 million, to be settled through a combination of cash and Long4Life shares. The effective date of the acquisition is 1 April 2017.

“It has been our stated intention to pursue investments predominantly with a lifestyle focus and Sorbet certainly fits neatly into our criteria. It is a company that has attractive growth prospects and has many of the characteristics we consider in our investment decision making,” Brian Joffe said.

Sorbet’s founder, Ian Fuhr, and his management have agreed to remain with the company and work closely with the Long4Life team to deliver Sorbet’s next phase of growth and development.

Ian Fuhr said, “We are excited about joining Long4Life and the opportunity to work alongside and under the guidance and experience of industry giants, Brian Joffe and Kevin Hedderwick. We look forward to building Sorbet into a significant health and beauty conglomerate. With the financial backing of Long4Life we will now be able to make acquisitions of other businesses in the sector, while also continuing to launch new formats of the Sorbet brand.”

Vox calls for partnerships with wireless internet service providers
Vox is calling all wireless internet service providers (WISPS) to partner with it in an aim to enhance connectivity in towns where broadband coverage is limited, or where ADSL is old, over-subscribed, and unlikely to be extended.

Leveraging its investment in its national long distance fibre project, which was launched in October 2016, Vox is deploying wireless links via a high capacity backhaul that it anticipates will assist WISPS to convert what were previously best effort basic services to a more inclusive, far-reaching broadband connectivity experience for businesses and residents.

Vox has prioritised smaller towns along the eastbound N4 route between Johannesburg and Durban and all the towns along the NLD will be considered as drop off points, but it will initially focus its efforts on the larger towns. WISPS throughout this route are encouraged to make contact with Vox and work alongside the service provider to maximise the connectivity boom that is headed to their towns.

“By improving the backhaul, we will enable local peering and caching; high-speed access and drive future investment in the network. We see partnership as the best way to drive a better connectivity experience for businesses and residents outside of major metropolitan centres,” says Jacques du Toit, CEO at Vox.

“The successful deployment of better quality networks, increased internet-based services beyond email and online banking and greater penetration, becomes a useful motivation for fibre rollouts into the future,” adds du Toit.

App Launched To Increase Blood Donation
The Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS), in conjunction with NXT Digital Innovation and Tracker, has launched an app called WP Blood to increase participation in blood donation.

The app gives donors immediate access to information about their nearest clinic and indicates which blood groups are urgently needed.

In addition, by integrating the technology with user profiles, app users are able to tell if their type of blood is needed and where mobile and static blood donation points are located daily. The app also keeps track of the time since a donor made his or her last donation, or alternatively, gives the donor a platform to inform friends and family of the shortage.

NXT CEO, Wayne Levine, says the company started working with WPBTS in 2014, “We get brands to motivate why they need an innovation kick or what we call an extreme digital makeover. WPBTS’ argument for an extreme digital makeover was highly compelling: less than 1.5% of people in the Western Cape are regular blood donors and up to 75% of people in the province will require blood at some point in their lives.”

“In addition to this, the Western Cape is a popular holiday venue, which means an increase in road accidents and even more demand for blood. Since the launch of the WP Blood app, we have seen 4,728 android app downloads and 1,636 Apple app downloads. That’s a total of 6,364 downloads in 16 days,” he says.

NXT chief innovations officer (CIO), David Oosthuizen, says donating blood should be regarded as a ‘pay it forward’ gesture. “Since the launch of the app on the 14 June 2017, we have seen an increase of 780 new donors in just under a month’s time.”

WP Blood is available for free download on iOS and Android app stores.

For more information, SMS “Blood” to 33507 and WPBTS will call you back with information on where to donate. Donors can also call (021) 507 6300, email info@wpbts.org.za or visit www.wpblood.org.za.

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