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SPHERE Private Equity Acquires Large Stake in BB&D

May 17, 2007 • Top Stories

Sphere Private Equity, a black owned and managed private equity fund, has acquired a 35.75% stake in leading Johannesburg-based software development company Barone, Budge & Dominick (BB&D) for an undisclosed amount while the company has simultaneously reserved 10% of BB&D’s share capital for a Staff Trust.

The deal, which became effective March 1, 2007, is the culmination of a lengthy process by BB&D to find a suitable Black Economic Empowerment partner.
BB&D employs more than 300 people in Johannesburg and Cape Town and has been involved in developing software for a wide range of local and international companies for more than 20 years.

“Over the past four years, we have examined and rejected nine BEE proposals which did not meet our requirements,” said Ralf Dominick, a BB&D director, and one of the company’s founders in 1984.

“In Sphere Private Equity, which has extensive investment experience in various industry sectors, we believe we have found a partner with excellent empowerment and business credentials that will benefit us as a company into the future.”
Sphere Private Equity, which acquired its stake in BB&D from retiring director Tom Budge and from Data Communication Information Services, will have three members on BB&D’s board of directors. They are Sphere’s CEO, Itumeleng Kgaboesele, along with Marang Denalane and Aadil Carim.

Itumeleng Kgaboesele, CEO of Sphere Private Equity, said: “We are thrilled that we have completed this transaction with the pre-eminent software developer in the country. In BB&D we have found an investment which represents our ideal investment criteria, being market leading companies focused on growth, which have proven management teams. We look forward to building the business over the long term in partnership with BB&D’s many stakeholders.”

There will be no change in BB&D’s management or operations and there will be no dilution of the remaining shareholding in the company held mainly by directors and staff.

BB&D:

BB&D is a leading, privately owned, software development organization operating both nationally and abroad. The company is dedicated to designing and developing solutions for organizations that view information technology as a strategic advantage.

Sphere Private Equity:
Sphere Private Equity, a black owned and managed private equity fund manager, raised its maiden fund, Sphere Private Equity Fund I, in November 2006 at a level of R302 million. The Fund targets the middle-market and seeks opportunities to invest in companies across different industry sectors with an enterprise value of R50 million to R200 million, a track record of strong cash flow generation, a clear competitive advantage and strong management teams.

Angus Macmillan, Macmillan Communications 082 2107 307

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