Executive Briefings

Barloworld Considers Development into Africa

South Africa-based Barloworld, a distributor of international brands providing integrated rental, fleet management, product support and logistics solutions, is targeting six sectors to boost the growth of its business in the western and eastern portions of the continent, says CEO Clive Thomson.

While the diversified industrials company has continually expanded its operations outside of South Africa, its African growth has tended to focus more on countries south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Thomson said the company's six "strategic growth segments" were mining, infrastructure, power, automotive, logistics and agriculture.

Recent acquisitions under this strategy include the mining equipment division's takeover of the Bucyrus distribution businesses in southern Africa and Russia, and some "niche" logistics acquisitions.

"We have also taken our Avis Fleet Services business into Ghana in west Africa, and we're looking at an acquisition opportunity at the moment in east Africa for that fleet services business," Thomson said.

He said while Barloworld's logistics business was traditionally focused on South Africa, it was following the expansion of its customers into the rest of Africa.

While logistics was "one of the biggest challenges in Africa", he said the sector provided opportunities for those able to provide solutions.

About one-third of revenue from Barloworld's equipment and handling business now comes from outside southern Africa, while about 15 percent of revenue from automotive and logistics operations is from outside the region.

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While the diversified industrials company has continually expanded its operations outside of South Africa, its African growth has tended to focus more on countries south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Thomson said the company's six "strategic growth segments" were mining, infrastructure, power, automotive, logistics and agriculture.

Recent acquisitions under this strategy include the mining equipment division's takeover of the Bucyrus distribution businesses in southern Africa and Russia, and some "niche" logistics acquisitions.

"We have also taken our Avis Fleet Services business into Ghana in west Africa, and we're looking at an acquisition opportunity at the moment in east Africa for that fleet services business," Thomson said.

He said while Barloworld's logistics business was traditionally focused on South Africa, it was following the expansion of its customers into the rest of Africa.

While logistics was "one of the biggest challenges in Africa", he said the sector provided opportunities for those able to provide solutions.

About one-third of revenue from Barloworld's equipment and handling business now comes from outside southern Africa, while about 15 percent of revenue from automotive and logistics operations is from outside the region.

Read Full Article