(Adds Ramaphosa statement)
JOHANNESBURG May 26 Newly appointed South
African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will divest from
Shanduka, the black investment firm he founded more than a
decade ago, to avoid conflicts of interest with his government
duties, the company said on Monday.
Shanduka, which is 25 percent owned by China's sovereign
wealth fund, also said it would merge with another
prominent investment company, creating what is likely to be
South Africa's largest black-owned private investment group.
Shanduka will merge with Pembani, a company controlled by
former MTN Chief Executive Phuthuma Nhleko, to create a firm
with 13.5 billion rand ($1.30 billion) in gross asset value.
Shanduka, which means "change" in Ramaphosa's native
language of Venda, has stakes in Lonmin Plc, MTN Group
and the local operations of McDonald's Corp.
Ramaphosa founded the company in 2001 after he left politics
to pursue a career in business that has made him into one of
Africa's richest men.
A lawyer by training, Ramaphosa started in politics by
building and heading up the powerful National Union of
Mineworkers - which played a critical role in the toppling of
white minority rule in 1994.
He returned to politics in late 2012 when he was elected
deputy president of the ruling African National Congress.
President Jacob Zuma on Sunday named him as his deputy
president, in a decision likely to go down well with investors
and the private sector.
Since his return, Ramaphosa has resigned from the boards of
several major South African companies, including MTN and
"This transaction is the culmination of a review of my
business interests that I initiated soon after my election as
ANC Deputy President," Ramaphosa said in a statement. "It
enables me to leave Shanduka and eliminate any conflicts of
In addition to China's sovereign wealth fund, the other
shareholders in Shanduka include Ramaphosa's family trust and
His family's interests would be held in blind trusts in the
interim, Ramaphosa said in a separate statement.
($1 = 10.3574 South African Rand)
(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Ed Stodddard and David