The world’s leading producer of sophisticated safety products, MSA (Mine Safety Appliances) and the black-owned Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC), today announced two BEE deals that will enhance their position in the manufacture, supply and distribut

January 25, 2006

The world’s leading producer of sophisticated safety products, MSA (Mine Safety Appliances) and the black-owned Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC), today announced two BEE deals that will enhance their position in the manufacture, supply and distribution of safety equipment for mining and other industries...

In a move that strengthens MSA’s BEE credentials in Africa, the two companies have formed a new holding company – Samsac Holdings Pty Ltd (SAMSAC)– in which MIC will maintain a 25.1% ownership stake. Concurrent with this transaction, SAMSAC has acquired 100% of the equity of Select Personal Protective Equipment (Select PPE) from JSE-listed Mathomo Group Ltd, with foreign funding provided by MSA, and will also own 100% of the equity in MSA Africa Pty Ltd.

Both entities will continue to operate independently and focus on developing their respective business models. Select PPE will continue to grow its store network to be the best provider of commonly used safety goods to mining and other remote industry sites of brands selected by the user. MSA Africa will continue to increase its expertise in sophisticated safety equipment, with the MSA brand at its core, and serve the safety needs of industry, construction, and first responders. MORE
Company officials described the deals as meaningful and exciting, noting they represent a win-win proposition for all parties. These transactions are expected to generate new growth opportunities for both MIC and MSA.

“At MSA we have been focused on enhancing our BEE credentials for the better part of three years,” said Ron Anderson, Managing Director for MSA Africa. “Today, BEE compliance with mining charter requirements is a prerequisite for achieving meaningful growth in South Africa. Through our venture with MIC, we can now fully serve our customers needs as a legitimate BEE supplier, while at the same time enable MSA and MIC to capitalize on opportunities that emerge from the state’s infrastructural investment programmes.”

Anderson added that the investment by MSA in funding the Select PPE acquisition was a statement of confidence in South Africa and the region’s strong prospects for economic growth and development.

MIC’s executive director, Keshan Pillay, said its association with a large international organisation adds a crucial element to his business. “We’re proud to be associated with a global leader and a company that has dedicated more than 90 years to advancing the cause of safety throughout the world. We will be looking for ways to further our relationship in pursuit of our shared goals.”

MIC will receive proportional representation on the Board of Directors of SAMSAC, and in line with its investment strategy, intends on being an active and supportive shareholder. MORE

MIC is wholly owned by the Mineworkers Investment Trust, which provides funding towards development projects for the members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Its current major investments include a 21% stake in Primedia and 56% of empowerment group Marang East Rand which controls Emperors Palace, 25% of document storage company, Metrofile and a significant stake in BPSA, along with a number of other strategic holdings spread across the media, telecoms and the financial services sectors. MIC currently maintains majority control of Mathomo Holdings.

MSA and Select PPE operate similar albeit complementary businesses in the wider mining safety equipment and heavy engineering industries. MSA is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of sophisticated safety products that protect people's health and safety. The company’s research & development, manufacturing, and quality record have given it the reputation of global leader in detection and protection safety products to mines and to industry for more than 90 years. Select PPE is an established provider of multi-brand safety equipment and solutions to the mining industry in South Africa.

The two companies will continue to operate as separate entities under the SAMSAC umbrella, in order to provide customers with the widest product choices and optimum service.
Well before an official tie-up was on the agenda, the two companies were operating a successful joint venture at a Zambian copper mine. MORE

The Select PPE head office will be co-located in City Deep and there will be no retrenchments. Select PPE employs approximately 200 staff at 100 mine sites across South Africa.

Keshan Pillay and Rob Canizares, President, MSA International, share similar sentiments about the motivation behind the deals, noting that MIC and MSA serve the market with a common goal of enhancing workplace safety. “Both entities aim to build a safer working environment and brighter future for mine workers, their families and their communities,” Pillay said.

Canizares concurred, adding that “protecting life was the principal objective of MSA in the early 1900s” when the company’s founders, John T. Ryan and George H. Deike, became disillusioned with the loss of life in US coal mines. As engineers for the US Bureau of Mines, Ryan and Deike vowed to do something to protect miners and, thus, formed MSA. The first product was the incandescent cap lamp, which effectively put the canary out of business by eliminating open-flame lighting in mines.
“This important step fulfils that mission and positions us to better contribute to the safety needs of the mining and industry workers in South Africa,” said Pillay.