The Labat Africa Group is a proudly South African black-owned Investment Holding Company with Level 2 Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) credentials, comprising 57% black ownership and 34% black female ownership. Founded and incorporated in 1995 by Victor Labat Brian van Rooyen, Labat Africa was the first Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) company to get a listing on the Venture Capital Market of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in 1999. Our 26-year history has been characterised by innovation and transformation of traditionally un-transformed sectors in South Africa.
Labat is dedicated to the expansion of its interests, and the Labat stable is constantly growing. Currently the Labat Group comprises: South African Micro Electronics Systems (Pty) Ltd (‘SAMES’), an electronic chip business, Labat Logistics, a division of Labat Africa (‘Labat Logistics’) and Force Fuel (Pty) Ltd (‘Force Fuel’), which are fuel distribution businesses. Labat Cannabis (Pty) Ltd is the latest addition to the Labat Group and is constituted by the following subsidiaries: Labat Hemp Processing Plant, Labat Pharmaceuticals, Labat Cannabis Warehouse, Labat Intellectual Property, Oriah Botanicals, Paccon, AfriAg and Knuckle.
The investment opportunities presented by the cannabis sector in South Africa, are largely untapped, and our mission to become an industry leader and innovator in this sector, with a view not only to generating profits, but also exploiting the job creation and transformation prospects presented by this exciting industry. Through the utilization of our extensive logistics experience, strategic acquisitions and the establishment of tactical partnerships with industry experts, Labat is poised to become an important player in the cannabis industry.
In August 2016, after careful review and analysis of the considerable changes that were taking place in the transportation and logistics sector in South Africa as a result of revised Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) codes, Labat founded ‘Labat Logistics’. This decision was designed to exploit the opportunities that were presenting themselves in the evolving economic and political climate in the country, and an intense focus on BEE. As the vast majority of companies in the logistics sector were then white-owned (many run as family businesses) and operating under notices for their failure to transform, the establishment of Labat Logistics, was particularly well-timed. The launch was exceedingly successful, with immediate offtake contracts from Sasol and Glencore, which impacted positively on Labat’s annual turnover, seeing an increase from R14m to R56m. Subsequently, Labat’s client-base grew significantly, to include some of the country’s major blue-chip companies, such as Samancor and BHP Billiton. In order to further increase its capacity, Labat Logistics began to pro-actively seek out and bid for additional work. In this period, the company built its transport network using independent, smaller, truck – owners (mostly black-owned) which grew to a total of 80 trucks. Owing to the success of this strategy and multiple opportunities in this sector, Labat moved to enrich its value proposition, by targeting Force Fuel Bulk Distributor (Force Fuel). The acquisition included the supply of fuel and logistics technologies, which accounted for more than 45% of capital expenditure for transport operators. The acquisition of Force Fuel was successfully concluded in September 2018, and has proven extremely lucrative, with revenues subsequently increasing by 10%, month-on-month.
Labat boasts a strong track record in public sector project implementation, having completed several high-profile turn-key projects for both national and provincial government since its incorporation, and remains one of the most sought-after providers of solutions to the public sector within its sphere of expertise.
Through its subsidiaries, the Labat Africa Group provides key solutions in its three main areas of operation: Logistics, Energy and ICT. With a market penetration that extends beyond South Africa, into the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Labat’s strategic goal is grow its presence and act as an agent of transformation in sub-Saharan Africa in the Energy, ICT and Logistics sectors. Currently Labat Africa comprises the following subsidiaries: SAMES, Force Fuel, Labat Logistics, Elf Trans, Centenary, Afri-Group, and is in the process of finalising the acquisition of two companies: Autogas and RealCam. Labat’s most recent expansion is into the evolving cannabis sector, through the establishment of Labat Cannabis and its subsidiaries.