Thesele Group acquires 27% ownership of Elite Truck Hire

21 September 2016

Thesele Group (Pty) Ltd, a wholly black-owned investment holding company, acquired 27% ownership of Elite Truck Hire  from Medu Capital on 21 September 2016.

Elite Truck Hire has provided short- and long-term truck hire, including full maintenance leasing (FML) services, to the South African industry for more than 25 years. With offices on the East Rand, West Rand, in Midrand and Cape Town, Elite services more than 150 customers with a fleet strength exceeding 1 600 vehicles. The company has also expanded into the refrigeration and construction industries with refrigeration equipment and crane trucks now available.

Two associated businesses include Elite Line Haul and Elite Forklift Rental. Elite Line Haul is a heavy, long-distance transport operator linking centres throughout South Africa and with destinations in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. Elite Forklift Rental offers a range of forklift trucks on full-maintenance leasing and short-term rental.

Thesele invests in established medium- to large-enterprises in South Africa. Thesele is an owner-managed business, which enables it to nimbly evaluate and execute investment opportunities. Following the investment, Thesele takes on the role on an active shareholder providing support to the investee management team on the strategic and operational direction of the business.

Thesele senior executive Oliver Petersen, who was involved in the transaction, indicated that Thesele is very excited about this partnership with Medu Capital, who have retained a controlling interest in Elite, and the new CEO Byron Corcoran appointed in January 2016. Thesele looks forward to jointly creating value in Elite. “The acquisitions are in line with Thesele’s strategy of investing in well-established businesses that have been tested by the market and demonstrated their ability to exceed,” says Petersen.

Paul Moeketsi, a principal at Medu Capital and a director of Elite, says: "As Medu Capital, we have been involved with Elite for nine years now and we know the business quite well. We were very selective in choosing our new partners in Elite and we felt that the Thesele team possessed all the qualities of a like-minded partner. We would like to welcome Thesele on board as our partners in Elite, and we are looking forward to working together with Thesele to drive the future growth of Elite."

Elite background and history

Elite was founded in 1983 by Colin Levitt as a truck-hire business focusing primarily on the western suburbs of Gauteng. In 1993, Astra, together with Les Tomsett, the company’s previous managing director, purchased Elite. At the time of this acquisition, Elite comprised of a fleet of only 200 trucks. In March 2005, Elite Line Haul was formed to acquire the assets and liabilities of Denver. In October 2007, Elite started Elite Forklifts in order to exploit opportunities relating to forklift hire within its existing customer base and the broader market.

Collectively, Elite has a fleet of more than 1 600 trucks, trailers and forklifts and offers a wide range of transportation and related services, with a strong profile of customers and contracts.