Renaissance close to BJM Securities deal

Published: May 4, 2010

Russian investment bank to add broker to its South African business.

Emerging markets investment bank Renaissance Capital is on the verge of completing its first acquisition since announcing plans to expand into South Africa.

The Russian firm has agreed to pay up to US$28.2mn for brokerage BJM Securities from Barnard Jacobs Mellet Group.

The news comes some three months after Renaissance appointed Clifford Sacks as chief executive of its South Africa business and head of pan-African equities with a brief to expand its business into the continent’s largest economy to act as a conduit for local companies to invest across sub-Saharan Africa.

Completion is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, although Renaissance claims at least 68% of BJM’s shareholders will vote in favour of the acquisition. Once the deal is signed the acquired business will trade as Renaissance BJM Securities.

Sacks, a former co-chief executive of Merrill Lynch South Africa, said BJM Securities is the perfect fit for Renaissance. “When completed, the acquisition will mark a major step in building the first truly pan-African investment banking franchise stretching from the Cape to Cairo.”

Renaissance moved into Africa in 2007 and with its South African operation has a network that covers Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Ghana. Last year the firm completed 18 transactions in 10 countries on the continent.

BJM Securities was founded in 1985 and is an independent full service broker-dealer.