Thebe invests in online auction house

Updated on 11 April 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (11 April)


Thebe Investment Corporation announced last week that it has closed on the acquisition of a majority stake in Clear Asset (Pty) Ltd – a move that creates a leading black owned online auction house. Privately held and headquartered in Cape Town, Clear Asset is a fast-growing online auction provider for mining, construction, maritime, agriculture and other heavy duty assets.

The company has rapidly emerged as a leader in the online auction space having sold over R1 billion of assets in the last year alone. Approximately 50% of these assets were exported globally with shipments to over 20 countries in 2016. In addition to most major mining houses, Clear Asset works with a number of leading financial institutions in helping them to dispose of their excess, redundant and distressed assets.

“We are excited by the dynamic management team and the growth in the business driven by Warren and Ariella. We see opportunities to expand the business both across our portfolio and into other targeted areas. We believe the systems, governance and price transparency that Clear Asset provides will continue to be more and more valuable as a mechanism to dispose of redundant or overage assets,” said Jerry Mabena, CEO of Thebe Services.

The acquisition by Thebe Investments was facilitated by the Praxley Group, who were acting in the capacity of transaction advisors to Clear Asset on the transaction.

“We are delighted to have Thebe on board as a partner. This is a major milestone for Clear Asset and a strong vote of confidence both in our business and the growing potential of South Africa’s online auction market,” commented Warren Schewitz, CEO of Clear Asset.

FNB extends free Wi-Fi access at branches

FNB announced on Monday that the number of branches with active free Wi-Fi connection reached 383 as of February as the bank continues to offer free internet connectivity to customers in its branches.

Over the years FNB has moved to digitise its branches and offer the option of transacting via digital channels or over the counter.

Chief executive of FNB Points of Presence, Lee-Anne van Zyl, said over 200,000 customers were connected to the internet via free FNB Wi-Fi in branches by January.

Van Zyl said in a statement that the process of providing free Wi-Fi was ongoing, however, the bank aimed to steadily increase connectivity across most of its branch outlets, especially high capacity branches.

“The roll out of free Wi-Fi is another value-add which shows our commitment to helping all FNB customers bank digitally,” van Zyl said.

“The fundamental aim of this initiative is to offer cheaper banking alternatives for customers through the availability of free high speed Wi-Fi. Currently, about 187 FNB branches are connected via internet fibre, which enables connectivity at faster speeds.”

Van Zyl said FNB also has dedicated eBankers across 195 select branches that are deployed to assist customers at digital zones, which enable customers to transact via their online profiles within the branch.

The role of eBankers is to assist customers who transact digitally by giving support where necessary.

2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards finalists announced

The finalists for the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards, sponsored by Wesgro and organised by Better Tourism Africa, has been announced.

With seven categories as well as the much-coveted ‘Overall Winner’, the competition has stepped up a notch for the finalists. Following an intense debate on the judging day, which was held in Johannesburg on 7 April 2017, the panel of 14 expert judges from across the industry shortlisted 13 organisations from across Africa – including Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, and Mozambique.

The finalists are: African ImpactAll Out AfricaBlood LionsCoffee Shack BackpackersWilderness Safaris Damaraland CampIlha Blue Island SafarisIsibindi Africa LodgesMaboneng Township Arts ExperienceMTN Bushfire; Serena Hotels; Nedbank Tour de TuliUthando South AfricaWildlife ACT. (via Bizcommunity)

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