Businessman Frank Buyanga’s African Medallion Group (AMG) has just closed a Rand 100 million acquisition of Pagliari Group (Pagliari), a former subsidiary of Rand Refinery (RF) and supplier of high-quality gold products.
The development also comes as the South African-based company has offered its assets to capitalise Zimbabwe’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) and its gold reserves have raced to R3,5 billion at the back of heightened demand for its minted products.
“Our mandate is to bring (value and) real wealth to our investors and this merger is part of our growth strategy moving forward,” Buyanga said, adding AMG was keen on “expanding across Africa through organic growth and strategic acquisitions for the benefit of the continent”.
“At Pagliari and Capemint, we endeavour to enhance the numismatic industry and create value… by supporting local beneficiation, employment creation and international exposure,” he said.
With the Pagliari deal having been concluded in April, the 61-year old jewellery maker’s acquisition also comes as Buyanga has been stockpiling on the yellow metal from the world-famous RF – one of Africa and the universe’s largest gold refineries.
And the Cape Town-based minting firm also has major contracts with such clients as global automaker Volkswagen, and others.
In terms of his SWF offer, the self-styled financier and property investor feels AMG’s assets could be used to fund local businesses and at a time the national economy remains weighed down serious debt, and high unemployment – at 80 percent.
“As AMG, we want to be part of the new Zimbabwe by helping our SWF reach its goals and also get the necessary financial ability to do so,” Buyanga said in a recent letter to Patrick Chinamasa’s Finance ministry.
“As an entrepreneur, l am aware that… the fiscus is stretched so thin and has nothing to spare, the practicality of SWF for Zimbabwe is then close to impossible. However, with our assistance together we can make it a reality,” he said.
In addition to his AMG interests, Buyanga has several other investments in the financial services sector, mining and property locally, and in South Africa.
When the company was established nearly two years ago, it launched quite a number of exciting products, including the $5 African Union commemorative coin and other medallions.
Apart from his efforts to help Zimbabwe’s economy, the 34 year-old businessman was one of a few vocal – and leading – advocates for the establishment of a specialised, and monitoring unit for the country’s parastatals.