Thebe partner with Dubai-based Mohebi to explore food markets


“We have identified the logistics sector for growth. This particular transaction represents our entry into this foray,” Jerry Mabena, CEO of Thebe services division, told CNBC Africa.

Thebe, a South African based investment company and Zainal Mohebi Holdings (Mohebi Logistics), a company based in Dubai seek to introduce new skills into the South African food market and open new logistical avenues.

“We sought a partner who has success in different parts of the world and one that we could learn from and to use the opportunity for growth into the African continent,” he said.


Therefore, Thebe and Mohebi Logistics have acquired 80 per cent in Gourmet Fresh, a South African based food supply and distribution company. Mohebi Logistics seek to expand outside of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gulf Corporation Council. The logistics company saw South Africa as a promising place of opportunity and growth.

“Thebe was a natural choice, a very strong South African company. [They] want to add value to South African empowerment and create a South African entity which can be exported to other African countries opposed to bringing in a foreign company and branding as a foreign organisation,” explained Mohamed Mohebi, CEO of Zainal Mohebi Holdings.

(READ MORE:Dubai’s Al-Futtaim offers to buy Kenya’s CMC Holdings for 7.5 bln shillings)

Moreover, with majority stake in Gourmet Fresh, the partnership will acquire Gourmet Fresh’s main customer, Compass S.A, and will be the supplier to 357 of its contracts.

Compass S.A is a South African based catering company, which has previous partnership with both Thebe and Mohebi, in South Africa and the UAE respectively.

While some international companies perceive South Africa as the gateway to African business markets, Thebe perceives this as an opportunity of expanding into the logistical markets of the Middle-East and Asia.

(READ MORE:Dubai’s Al-Futtaim offers to buy Kenya’s CMC Holdings for 7.5 bln shillings)

While the conceivable goal is expansion into new markets the primary goal is the establishment of the product in South Africa.

“We have to start at home [South Africa]. We will entrench our product within the South African market,” said Mabena.