Brazilian industrial firm expands in SA

26 July 2010

Brazilian firm WEG has acquired a 51% stake in South Africa’s Zest Electric Group for an undisclosed amount as part of its African expansion strategy.

Zest has been representing WEG electric products in southern Africa since its inception in the 1980s, when WEG began to explore international markets.

Nearly 30 years later, WEG is an internationally respected supplier of first-class products to the industrial electrical energy sector. The significant growth experienced by WEG over the last few years promises to continue, as is evidenced by its ever expanding global network of businesses and manufacturing plants.

“The investment by WEG in Zest demonstrates WEG’s commitment to the African market and its firm belief that the continent has much to offer in terms of future growth,” Zest founder and CEO James Blakemore said in a statement this week.

Entrepreneurial culture

A fundamental part of the transaction is WEG’s recognition of how important Zest’s entrepreneurial culture and personalised approach to business and client service has been to its success.

WEG is seeking to build on these foundations to drive more positive growth, and Zest’s clients and business partners stand to benefit significantly from the direct shareholding of a major global brand in the company’s operations.

“The transaction will dramatically expand the Zest Group’s operational and strategic horizon, bringing new and exciting products and services to the businesses that have enjoyed such long relationships with Zest across the southern African region,” the company said.

African market leader

During the 30 years that Zest has represented WEG in southern Africa, it has become the market leader in the supply of electric motors throughout Africa.

According to the statement, diversification into electrical panels, generator sets and the electrical installation business has set the Zest Group up for ongoing growth in the electrical industry arena, and the introduction of WEG as a majority shareholder allows Zest to consolidate its market position.

“Together, WEG and Zest have the resources, products, skills and localised experience to expand dramatically within the continent,” said Blakemore. “This expansion will hold a range of new opportunities for our people – from staff to business partners and customers – and opens a brand new chapter in the Zest story.”

SAinfo reporter

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