Mergers and acquisitions activity on the rise in South Africa


“It’s largely because firms are trying to consolidate in preparations for all the regulatory changes that are coming through and have been coming through over the last number of years,” Kariem Hoosain, chief operating officer and director at the professional services firm, Mazars South Africa told CNBC Africa.

He explained that there has been a lot of instability in the mid-market within advisory firms around the world as smaller firms find it difficult to operate on an independent basis and still be able to comply with all the regulations in the industry.

As a result, companies such as Grant Thornton and PKF have merged to create a single professional services firm in Johannesburg.  


In addition, local firms have also been teaming up with international brands in an attempt to cater to their clients’ needs on a global scale.

“A lot of our local and overseas clients are becoming a lot more globally active and it’s easier to make that connection through an integrated partnership,” said Hoosain.

For instance, Mazar South Africa teamed up with Mazar International in an attempt to expand into other markets.

“We made the move to be part of Mazars International four years ago and that’s one of the reasons why we continue to expand. We’re in 71 countries and employ 13,500 people,” he added.

He explained that if local firms want to become an international player, they need to make a connection with an international brand.

The advantage, he explained, would be that you are able to service your clients as one brand, with one service ethic irrespective of where they are in the world, which in turn provides comfort for the client as they receive that same level of standard across the world.

An expansion of South African companies into North Africa has also become quite popular as many investors and businesses are trying to get a foot into other African markets.

“We get a lot of enquiries within South Africa to expand into those parts of Africa as well as from overseas, where they’re trying to use South Africa infrastructure to springboard into the rest of Africa,” Hoosain concluded.