Medu Capital (Pty) Ltd, a South African private equity company focused on established medium sized owner-managed businesses, today announced that it has acquired 100% ownership stakes in Universal Paints and Elite Truck Hire for a total of R450m.

The investments were made through Medu Capital’s third private equity fund, Medu III, and will include a management buy-in component.

Universal Paints, founded in 1982 by Tony Ferreira, manufactures and supplies decorative paint and coatings. 16 dedicated factory outlets in Gauteng are the sole suppliers of Universal’s products, thereby eliminating the costly middleman and high retail overheads. These savings are passed directly on to its customers, which include homeowners, professional painters and the construction industry. 

Elite Truck Hire has provided short and long term truck hire including Full Maintenance Leasing (FML) services to the South African industry for over 25 years. With offices on the East and West Rand, in Midrand and Cape Town, the company is now black owned, following the acquisition, and services more than 150 customers with a fleet strength exceeding 1,200 vehicles. The company has expanded into the refrigeration and construction industries with refrigeration equipment and crane trucks now available. 

Two associated businesses include Elite Line Haul which is a heavy, long distance transport operator linking centres throughout the country as well as to destinations in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. Elite Forklift Rental offers a comprehensive range of forklift trucks on Full Maintenance Leasing and short term rental. 

Medu Capital invests locally and internationally sourced institutional capital in established medium sized enterprises in South Africa and the rest of Africa. The executive management team invests alongside its investors, and believes in partnering with various owner-managers in growing and developing the portfolio companies.

Medu Capital executive Paul Moeketsi, who was involved in each deal, said that new managing directors have been appointed to each company, both of which have invested alongside Medu Capital. Moeketsi adds that the acquisitions are in line with Medu Capital’s strategy of investing in well established businesses with a proven record of success.

“Both Elite and Universal deliver high quality products and services to its customers and have experienced and successful management teams. In the case of Elite, we have increased our initial 27% stake acquired in 2007 to 100%, which we believe sends a clear signal of our confidence in the company and its management,” says Moeketsi.