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News > Private Equity > Exits

Ethos sells CQS stake for over R200m

Africa Global Funds
Jan. 27, 2016, midnight
503

Word count: 300

Ethos, a South African private equity investor, has sold its entire stake in a niche technology company, CQS Investment Holdings (CQS) to JSE-listed Adapt IT, an information technology services and specialised solutions provider, for R216.81m.

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Ethos, a South African private equity investor, has sold its entire stake in a niche technology company, CQS Investment Holdings (CQS) to JSE-listed Adapt IT, an information technology services and specialised solutions provider, for R216.81m.

This follows the fulfilment of all conditions precedent giving effect to the transaction.

Ashley Cohen, CEO of CQS, said: “Ethos has been a supportive and stimulating shareholder. Together, we’ve grown and improved many aspects of the business despite economic challenges.”

“Beyond capital, financial and strategic expertise, Ethos gave CQS access to their significant business networks. Today, CQS is well-corporatised and ready to take a new step in our journey,” he said.

Ethos Technology Fund I acquired CQS in 2008 in a transaction that facilitated the introduction of empowerment partner, Kapela Investments.

Ethos didn’t disclose how large was the stake, but said it has fully exited the investment.

Kapela and management became shareholders in Adapt IT.

CQS is a leading South African value-added distributor of software products for the audit, risk management and financial reporting markets.

The company has an extensive corporate and government client base in a market that is growing significantly, both in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

CQS has a footprint in Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

It has the reputation of being a leader in these niche markets operating through a direct and a distributor network model.

Stuart MacKenzie, Ethos CEO, said: “Our partnership with CQS is a shining example of Ethos’ ability to cultivate owner-manager businesses. Over the course of our shareholding, we have worked extensively with Ashley and his team to further corporatise and optimise CQS’s product offering.”

“Accordingly, it is exceptionally rewarding when the fruits of this labour are realised. Adapt IT is a natural home for CQS, and this new partnership will unlock significant synergies for both parties. We wish both businesses continued success,” he said.

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