Press releases

PME announces an investment in Sheltam Grindrod Holdings and the acquisition of 12 General Electric Locomotives


    PME African Infrastructure Opportunities PLC

    PME African Infra - New Investments

    4 August 2008

    PME AFRICAN INFRASTRUCTURE OPPORTUNITIES PLC

    ('PME' or the 'Company') (AIM: PMEA.L; PMEW.L)

    PME announces an investment in Sheltam Grindrod Holdings and the acquisition of 12 General Electric Locomotives

    PME African Infrastructure Opportunities plc, an investment company established to invest in sub-Saharan African infrastructure and infrastructure related opportunities, announces that it has agreed to acquire:

    -  50% interest in the share capital of Sheltam Grindrod Holdings (Pty) Limited ('Sheltam'); and

    -  12 General Electric locomotives.

    Sheltam

    PME has agreed to acquire 50% of the issued shares in Sheltam that were previously owned by Grindrod Freight Investments, for R58 million (US$7.7 million) in cash.  Sheltam provides engineering, management and operations of railway locomotives and privately-owned rail track, with profits before tax for the year ended 31 December 2007 of R19.5 million (US$1.3 million).  It also owns and charters small aircraft on its own account and for its small aircraft-owning customers as well as repairs and maintains marine engines and small engine-generators ('Gensets').  It has significant expansion plans under way in its existing operations and is also expanding into the supply and maintenance of large Gensets to mining companies in South Africa adversely affected by the national utility's inability to maintain electricity supplies.

    Locomotives

    PME has agreed to acquire 12 locomotives from Sheltam Grindrod Leasing (Pty) Limited for R235 million (US$31.1 million) in cash. The locomotives, which were supplied by General Electric's Brazilian subsidiary, are C30 2.8MW-rated units that will support mining, logging and passenger operations around southern Africa.  The locomotives will be leased by PME primarily to the Sheltam group.

    Both transactions remain subject to the approval by the South African Competition Commission, which is expected to be forthcoming.

    Further enquiries:

    Principle Capital on behalf of                      Anne Dalen                      +44 20 7240 3222
    PME Infrastructure
    Managers Limited

    Smith & Williamson                                  Azhic Basirov                    +44 20 7131 4000
    Corporate Finance Limited

    Fairfax I.S. PLC                                      James King                         +44 20 7598 5368

    Bell Pottinger                                           Dan de Belder                    +44 20 7861 3232

    On behalf of
    Helvetica (Isle of Man)
    Company Limited                                   Clara Parisot                        +41 798 249 788


    Notes to Editors:

    -   PME African Infrastructure Opportunities plc ('PME') is a company investing in sub-Saharan African infrastructure and infrastructure related industries. Its shares were admitted to AIM in July 2007 raising US$180.45 million.

    -   PME was established to invest in sub-Saharan African infrastructure and infrastructure related industries with a view to generating attractive returns, principally through capital growth. It is targeting opportunities arising from years of under investment in sub-Saharan African infrastructure where that infrastructure will be instrumental in allowing the continent's economic development to continue to grow.

    -   The Investment Manager is PME Infrastructure Managers Limited ('PMEIM'). The Investment Manager is responsible for identifying new investment opportunities.

    -   PMEIM is a joint venture between Principle Capital Holdings S.A. (AIM: PCX.L), Unicos Partners LLP (holding company of the Helvetica Group of companies), Masazane Capital (Pty) Limited and the interests of Richard Bouma, CEO of PMEIM.