Moloto invests in leading green refrigeration company

03 September 2018

Moloto invests in leading green refrigeration company

Moloto Capital Investments (Moloto) increases its equity stake in Sphere Solutions Pty Limited (Sphere) from 26%, acquired in March 2018, to 40% with further options to take control within 12 months.  

Recently established through the amalgamation of three companies, South African-based Sphere is now the largest energy-efficient cooling solutions group in Africa and a leading COrefrigeration company globally.

Two of Sphere’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Commercial Refrigeration Systems (CRS) and Matador Refrigeration (Matador) manufacture, install and maintain refrigeration systems, supplying equipment and services to major retailers and food producers in South Africa, Australia, the Middle East and North America. The third subsidiary, Sphere Farming (SF) specialises in vertical farming operations which it can cross-sell to clients who use the water generated by COrefrigeration units to irrigate high-value vegetables and herbs.

Global regulation (including the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols) is calling for clean refrigeration technology and actively promotes the use of energy efficient CO2.  Sphere’s innovation in COtechnology and client focus points to a growing future demand for its core products and maintenance programmes in all markets in which it operates. Sphere also anticipates rising demand for efficient farming technologies and is spearheading the future of land-light, water-efficient, high-yield, and year-round farming.

The strategy, developed in the run-up to the transaction as a collaborative effort by Moloto principals and Sphere Founder Marcel Steinberg, is to aggressively grow Sphere’s local and international footprint. Moloto CEO, Merafe Moloto, is excited about Sphere’s future as it moves forward with stronger empowerment credentials and strengthened strategic skills. “Sphere represents a unique opportunity to participate in a growing industry. Our active involvement and established business networks will assist to secure and grow market share. Not only do we love the business in itself, but the transaction also illustrates our value chain investment approach and complements the other sectors in which we invest; particularly agro-processing and FMCG. We are delighted to partner with Marcel, an astute entrepreneur, a passionate and informed advocate of green solutions for global issues and a very effective market-facing operator.”

Sphere CEO, Dr Wolsey Barnard, welcomes Moloto’s investment, “Merafe and Navaid share my passion for growing businesses and creating opportunity in a sustainable and thoughtful way. These common values, coupled with their extensive financial and strategic expertise, convinced me that, in this partnership, Sphere will capture the huge potential of a growing COrefrigeration market both locally and globally.”

As Moloto embarks on its Series B fund raise, CIO Navaid Burney, indicates that this investment has been especially significant. “This transaction demonstrates Moloto’s ability to source and support success stories in the South African manufacturing and agro-related verticals. Furthermore, we have developed a robust deal pipeline in globally-competitive, high-potential companies to support the national objectives of job growth, foreign exchange generation and transformation while producing attractive investment returns.”