This is after it was announced that Bidvest and Grindrod had entered into a memorandum of understanding that would see Bidvest acquire Grindrod Bank.
“Grindrod Bank has made good contributions and a number of investors have said it’s making good returns. Yes it is and there’s never a right time to dispose of an asset but there is a competition for capital within the group – either we put our own capital into the bank or we do something together with Bidvest,” Andrew Waller told CNBC Africa.
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“We’ve known for some time that Bidvest is a very good fit with the businesses we have and we think that it would be the best for all parties if they can take it forward. Obviously that remains to be seen over the coming weeks.”
Waller praised the team at Grindrod Bank but indicated that he could not reveal the specific details of the Bidvest deal until it had been finalised.
“What we find is that we’re now at a crossroads. We now have to inject significant capital just to get to the next level, the alternative is to match up with Bidvest and let them take this forward. We’ve entered into the memorandum of understanding so when we finalise, there will be specific details on the transaction,” he said.
“There are huge opportunities for both the banks but also there’s all the legislation coming in, it would make sense to have some type of consolidation at the smaller end of the market.”
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Going forward, he stated that Grindrod would be focused on ensuring an integrated logistics business, which is focused on infrastructure.
“There’s capital plans in excess of 10 billion over the next five years so where we can facilitate infrastructure in Africa in order to get minerals or agricultural products in and out of the country, that’s where we’re focused,” Waller said.
“We work a lot with Transnet in South Africa and further North, we’re working with various parastatals to assist in ensuring those minerals and agriproducts get in and out of the country.”