15 February 2024

Absa is proud to have been named the winner of the BEE Deal of the Year at the prestigious annual DealMakers awards on 13 February 2024. The award, sponsored by Exxaro, recognises Absa’s achievement in implementing one of the largest broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) schemes in recent times, placing 7% of the Group shareholding in the hands of employees and communities.

“We are very proud of the transaction and pleased that it has been recognised through the award,” said Arrie Rautenbach, Absa Group Chief Executive Officer. “The transaction underscores our commitment to transformation, diversity and inclusion, while enabling employees and communities to participate in the value generated by the Group.”

Nominations were considered based on criteria including execution complexity, potential value creation, deal size and transformational impact.  Absa’s B-BBEE transaction exemplified these criteria with its innovative structure and far-reaching benefits.

With a total allocation of R11.2 billion, including a 4% evergreen Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Trust and a 3% vesting staff element, the deal highlights Absa’s commitment to driving sustainable change and prosperity. Additionally, the inclusion of colleagues from participating Absa subsidiaries outside South Africa in a cash-equivalent staff scheme further demonstrates Absa’s dedication to creating opportunities across borders.

Absa enlisted the help of specialists from its own M&A advisory team, Oxford Partners, UBS and ENS to advise on the design and structure of a transaction which enhances Absa’s B-BBEE credentials whilst navigating numerous and complex legal, tax and financial considerations.

The transformative B-BBEE and staff incentive transaction stands to make a tangible difference in the lives of approximately 35,000 individuals employed by Absa across 14 jurisdictions through the Absa eKhaya Colleague Share Scheme, while simultaneously benefiting a broader constituency of community beneficiaries in South Africa through the CSI Trust. By promoting economic empowerment and social progress, Absa continues to demonstrate commitment to being an active force for good.

The DealMakers independent panel included Naspers CEO Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, former JSE CEO and chairman of the Stellenbosch University Council Nicky Newton-King as well as former RMB CEO James Formby.