All Guyanese need to be decisive for our future

first_imgDear Editor,It was with great amusement that I read a letter in a section of the media on September 30, 2019, titled “We have to come together and pray for Guyana”. Editor, I have no issues with a person having a religion or any belief but I do have a problem when anyone suggests that the only way to make things better is to pray. I ask the author of the letter, why pray? The victims of war-torn countries offer the sincerest prayer for peace and it is never granted. The citizens of poor countries with extreme poverty offer the sincerest of prayers for something to eat at the end of the day. The child with cancer prays every day to be able to have a normal childhood and be free of cancer. The abused victim prays every day that their spouse will turn around and see the love that they – the victim – feels, the potential they – the abuser – have and the opportunity for happiness that lies ahead. The sad truth is that none of these prayers is answered until they themselves take action and take control of the life they are given.As citizens of Guyana, we need to stop praying and hoping and start taking action for a better country. We need to start holding political leaders accountable. We need to show respect for those who disagree with us and stop taking things personally. We need to start taking more interest in the laws of the country and how inadequate and antiquated many of them are. We need to take more interest with how the oil and gas companies are trying to rob us and are getting away with it and more importantly, we need to open our minds and let go of the thoughts of old. If we want to make life better for those who live in this beautiful land, we have to want change, instead of hoping for it.I understand that it may feel like an ordinary Guyanese man or woman cannot change the current status quo, but with organised groups, you can. I urge all Guyanese to be decisive for our future and for the future of the country, years after we are gone. We need to make Guyana, Guyanese.Sincerely,Amir Khanlast_img read more

Scrapbookers get set for `Shop Hop’

first_imgNothing gets a scrapbooker going like a new glitter pen or pinking shears. Those and a variety of other products will be available at discounted prices all over Southern California for the first-ever SoCal Shop Hop, an event that will bring 29 independent scrapbooking shops together for nine days of promotions and activities for the public. Locally, scrapbookers can call on Screamin’ Susie’s, located at 16170 Leffingwell Road in Whittier. The shop is run by Brent and Susie Tell, a husband-and-wife team who started their business two years ago. Screamin’ Susie’s was born out of Susie Tell’s hobby: creating homemade cards and scrapbooking. The store’s unusual name came from the mark she puts on her homemade cards. Now, Brent Tell said, they try and live up to the name with colorful supplies, loud music and a casual atmosphere. “We’re trying to be available to people who don’t know anything about scrapbooking,” Tell said. “It’s not your typical scrapbook store.” Scrapbooking is a fairly new hobby, where enthusiasts decorate traditional family photo albums and newspaper clippings in an aesthetically pleasing, organized fashion. Scrapbooking Roads, a small company based in Longmont, Colo., prints national guides of scrapbooking store locations throughout the United States. That company organized the event, which will include prize drawings and incentives for consumers to visit as many of the 29 participating stores. “We recognized that the quilt stores in the industry, they do what’s called a `shop hop’ pretty regularly,” said Heidi Burkstrom, vice president of marketing for the company. Customers can pick up “passports” at any participating store. At each store they visit, these passports can be stamped. In addition to discounts and special offers at each location, those who visit at least 12 stores in nine days are eligible to win a $50 gift certificate from their home store. Those who visit all 29 stores are entered in a contest to win a three-day scrapbooking cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. “We expect a pretty good turnout of enthusiasts who are interested in visiting a new shop they have never seen before, or visiting their old shop and finding new products,” Burkstrom said. The Southern California event will be the first put on by the company, although three others around the country are being planned for September. Tell, 49, said he and his wife have lived in Whittier since they married 17 years ago. “The cool thing is you can see the church where we got married from the shop,” he said. One of the Tells’ regular customers, Cynthia Whaley, said she is looking forward to the SoCal Shop Hop. For Whaley, a Whittier resident, scrapbooking became a hobby three years ago. She takes classes offered at Screamin’ Susie’s and drops by at least once a week to look at new merchandise and visit the Tells. “Every weekend, my husband asks `Are you going to Susie’s?’ or he just assumes I’m there,” she said. Whaley said she hopes to visit as many stores as she can, even those as far away as San Diego. “There’s a couple of us from Susie’s store who have decided they’re going to try to hit as many as they can.” For a map of stores, visit socalshophop.com. airan.scruby@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Leicester looking title certainties, Newcastle destined for the drop – Coral DD

first_imgCoral’s Simon Clare joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.Leicester stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points on Sunday with victory over Southampton.With only six games of the season to go, the Foxes are now just 2/7 to win the title.At the bottom end of the table, Norwich moved four points clear of danger after beating relegation rivals Newcastle in dramatic fashion on Saturday.Norwich are now 6/4 to be relegated and Newcastle, six points adrift of safety, are 1/6 for the drop.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfastlast_img read more

Euro 2016: Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin named in Spain squad

first_imgArsenal defender Hector Bellerin has been included in Spain’s final 23-man squad for the defence of their European Championship title.Bellerin, the 21-year-old right-back who featured in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year, only made his international debut in a 3-1 victory over Bosnia on Sunday.But after Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal was ruled out of this summer’s tournament with a hip injury sustained in the Champions League final, Bellerin was named in a provisional 19-man group by head coach Vicente del Bosque.The Spain boss revealed his final four players later on Tuesday, with Sergio Ramos, Juanfran, Lucas Vazquez and Koke all making the cut, while the likes of Isco and Saul Niguez missed out.“We have tried to select a balanced squad and I think every position is well covered in this 23,” Del Bosque said at a press conference.“I’ve not spoken personally to any of the players who’ve been left behind. Everyone wanted to be here, but we only had 23 spots.”Bellerin featured 44 times for Arsenal in all competitions this season. He had been placed on standby for Spain, but will now make the trip to France following Carvajal’s injury.Carvajal left the field in tears in the 52nd minute of Real’s penalty shoot-out win over city rivals Atletico Madrid in Milan on Saturday and scans have subsequently revealed a grade-two tear of hip flexor muscles.Spain open the defence of their title against the Czech Republic in Toulouse on June 13. They will also play Turkey and Croatia in Group D.Spain squad for Euro 2016:Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Porto), David De Gea (Man United), Sergio Rico (Sevilla).Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Marc Bartra (all Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Mikel San Jose (Athletic Bilbao), Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid).Midfielders: Bruno (Villarreal), Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta (both Barcelona), Thiago (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City), Pedro, Cesc Fabregas (both Chelsea), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid).Forwards: Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Bilbao), Nolito (Celta Vigo), Alvaro Morata (Juventus). 1 Bellerin was named in the PFA Team of the Year after his impressive performances for Arsenal this season last_img read more

GLENTIES SONGWRITER TO REPRESENT DONEGAL AT YOUTH MUSIC AWARDS

first_imgSongwriter David Moore in full flight!A young songwriter from Glenties has been selected to represent Donegal in the 7th annual Irish Youth Music Awards national final, which takes place this Saturday 18th April in the Aviva Stadium.16-year-old David Moore, who is a student at Glenties Comprehensive School, was chosen at the recent Donegal heat in the Loft Letterkenny to represent the county at the annual awards.Young bands and artists from across the county competed to have the chance to represent the county at the final in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. David, who is also a member of the Donegal Youth Council as well as regularly turning out at midfield for Naomh Conaill under-16s, will perform an original track “Skin and Bones” plus another original track written by Letterkenny band “If She Falls” who won best song at the Donegal Heat.The Irish Youth Music Awards is unique in that the regional final works off a principle where all the competing bands have vote and they have to select who they think will represent the county best at the national final.Donegal acts have a great history at the IYMAs, claiming the Paul Clancy Songwriting Award in 2011 and the overall award in 2008.Fellow bands are asked to work together to support David and if he is successful in the final all the local acts get to be part of a professionally recorded album recorded in Dublin. At the national final there is also the added bonus of all the bands learning a little bit more about the music industry and meeting representatives from the Irish music industry, and they are judged on all aspect of the Donegal team’s project, such as putting on preparation gigs, photography, styling and fundraising efforts to help bring the band and supporters to the national final.David will be taking on 26 other acts across the country down in Dublin and he will need all the support they can get.They have facebook and Twitter pages set up to help them get as much support as possible, as they are thrilled and proud to be representing Donegal in this fantastic competition.The IYMAS are Youth Work Ireland Initiative. A bus will travel to Dublin for David’s supporters and the Donegal IYMA team which will leave from Letterkenny on Saturday morning.The Irish Youth Music Awards are a Youth Work Ireland Initiative. For more information on the Irish Youth Music Awards contact Letterkenny Youth Information Centre on 074-9129640. GLENTIES SONGWRITER TO REPRESENT DONEGAL AT YOUTH MUSIC AWARDS was last modified: April 12th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:David MooredonegalGlentieslast_img read more

TRAVEL: CHECK OUT THE LASTEST OFFERS FOR A MID-TERM BREAK IN THE NORTH

first_imgBY TRAVEL EDITOR: TIM HEDGLEY…Make the most of the upcoming half term holidays with the family this October by taking a short break and staying in one of the North’s luxurious hotels, moody castles, self-catering accommodation or for the more adventurous what about glamping.There are some great-value deals to be had and the North is packed with amazing things to do and places to go, explained Tourism NI’s Destination PR Officer Pauline Gormley.“The half-term break is the perfect excuse to get away this autumn. Whether you’re looking for some rest and relaxation, a busy shopping break or perhaps a romantic get away with your other half, there are a range of great value accommodation offers available all over NI to avail of,” Pauline added. Tourism Northern Ireland has put together a list of accommodation offers* and suggestions for places to visit and things to do this half term for Donegal Daily readers:BelfastIf it’s a jam packed short break you’re after then Belfast is perfect as it is bursting with musical, cultural and foodie goings on. The city has everything including shopping, award winning restaurants, bars, museums, lots of family attractions, and much more.Enjoy a two night stay in Belfast’s city centre at the Europa Hotel from only £130 per person sharing for bed and breakfast and visit one of the world’s oldest pubs, the Crown Bar, just across the road. The Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast, close to Queen’s University, is offering two nights bed and breakfast from £89 per person sharing. One of Belfast’s newest hotels, the Clayton Hotel, is offering a two night mid-week deal for bed and breakfast from £99 per person. The popular Malone Lodge, Belfast’s half term offer is two night’s bed and breakfast mid-week from £99 per person.Ramada Plaza Belfast is offering visitors one night’s stay and tickets to explore Crumlin Road Gaol from only £59.50 per person sharing. Park Avenue Hotel is offering a midweek break for two night’s bed and breakfast from £109Co AntrimCo Antrim is simply awash with stunning rugged coastline, picturesque glens and quaint harbour villages. The perfect place to get away from it all on half term break, every nook and cranny of this county is just brimming with outstanding natural beauty.Bayview Hotel, Portballintrae is offering two night’s bed and breakfast with one four course table d’hote dinner plus tickets for Bushmills Distillery Tour from only £129 per person sharing. Ballygally Castle Hotel just outside Larne is offering two nights bed and breakfast midweek from £109 per person sharing and is the perfect base point for exploring the Giant’s Causeway and new Gobbins walk path.Golf enthusiasts will be delighted to learn about the Galgorm Resort & Spa’s golf themed offer which gives visitors the chance to enjoy 18 holes at Galgorm Castle’s Championship Golf Club along with an overnight stay with full Irish breakfast and use of the Thermal Spa facilities. This break is available from £85 per person sharing. Why not take advantage of the Ramada in Portrush’s weekend offer which includes two nights bed and breakfast from only £89 per person sharing or try the Causeway Hotel in Bushmills which is offering two nights bed and breakfast, one evening meal and one days entry to the Giants Causeway Visitor Centre as well as a tour of two people to the Bushmills Distillery from only£125 per person sharing.Co ArmaghCounty Armagh may be smallest county in of the Six but what it lacks in size it makes up for on beauty, ancient landmarks and sacred monuments, many of which have ties to St Patrick. Visitors to the county are sure to be mesmerised by the beautiful Armagh Public Library, County Museum and beautiful Churches.Armagh City Hotel is offering two nights bed and breakfast mid-week from £89 per person sharing. Visitors can also avail of a special Pamper Break which includes one dinner in the Callan Bar, bed and breakfast, plus £40 worth of beauty treatments at the onsite ‘Fab’ beauty salon. Co DownWhy not spend your half term break finding out more about the county that inspired C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. The stunning Silent Valley is sure to impress visitors as are the remarkable Mourne Mountains or Castlewellan Forest Park.Try the Culloden Estate and Spa for two night’s bed and breakfast on a weekend from £170 per person sharing or the Millbrook Lodge Hotel in Ballynahinch which is offering two nights bed and breakfast on a weekend from £89 per person sharing. Use these hotels as your base to explore nearby Cranfield beach or why not spend the day shopping in Newry.Avail of the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa’s two night value break which includes a full Irish breakfast and dinner in the Oak restaurant or stay at the Clandeyboye Lodge Hotel in Bangor where you can enjoy two night’s bed and breakfast on a weekend from £99 per person sharing.La Mon Hotel & Country Club in Comber is offering a spa break which includes one night’s bed and breakfast in a deluxe room, a bottle of Ame and chocolate covered strawberries, a 45 minute Spa Treatment per guest, two course meal served in either The Mill restaurant of Charlie’s Lounge or full access to the leisure suite. Visitors to Comber can experience this from only £130 per person sharing.Co FermanaghFermanagh is renowned for its beautiful scenery and lakes and is blessed with spectacular sites such as Castle Coole, Florence Court, Lough Navar and Crom Estate. Experience something really different at the Marble Arch Caves, Devenish Island Monastic Site or enjoy a round of golf at the Lough Erne Golf Resort.The Enniskillen Hotel is very close to the town centre and visitors can enjoy a drink at Blakes of the Hollow, one of the county’s oldest bars, before enjoying two night’s bed and breakfast from £89 per person on a mid-week break.Have a mid-week pamper and pitch break at the Killyhevlin Hotel, Spa and Health Club from only £117 per person sharing. Visitors can enjoy one four course dinner, cooked breakfast and use of the Killyhevlin Health Club. Included in the price is a round of golf on the nearby Castle Coole Golf course as well as a 30 minute spa treatment in the Elemis spa.Enjoy a romantic autumn getaway at the Westville Hotel, Enniskillen where you can kick back, relax and enjoy one night’s bed and breakfast plus a three course meal in the WV bar from only £125 per person or alternatively try Mahons Hotel, Irvinestown for two night’s bed and breakfast on a weekend from £89 per person sharing.Co TyroneAs the largest county in the North, Co Tyrone offers sweeping hills and lush valleys as well as exciting cycling and walking routes and delicious places to eat and drink. Visitors should be sure to stop off at the Ulster America Folk Park where they can explore the story of Irish Emigration.Enjoy two nights bed and breakfast at The Valley Hotel in Fivemiletown from £92 per person sharing. This offer is focused around shopping and those who avail of this can take advantage of a 5% discount in shops such as Queen Bea Ladies Boutique, Pinochos Gift Ware, Floral Valley Florist and Garden Centre and Valley Antiques and Restoration.The Silverbirch Hotel in Omagh is offering a romantic two night spa break in association with the renowned Lavender Health Spa from only £160 per person sharing. The two night stay will include a full Irish breakfast, four course dinner in Barreta Bar and Grill as well as a demi carafe of House wine per person. Only minutes from the bustling market town of Omagh visitors can explore lively bars such as Sallys and Main Street.Co DerryThe world famous walled city is just bursting with artistic, musical and creative things to see and do. Culture vultures will be in their element as they marvel at Europe’s largest collection of canons, famous murals and the beautifully restored Guildhall.Treat your other half to a romantic break at The Maldron Hotel in Derry and enjoy two night’s bed and breakfast plus a four course meal as well as a bottle of sparkling wine and strawberries which will await you in your room. This offer is available from £99 per person sharing during midweek and from £119 per person sharing midweek. Or why not try out the Ramada Da Vinci’s Hotel where you can avail of two night’s bed and breakfast on a weekend from only £99 per person sharing.The Everglades Hotel in Derry is offering a value break which includes two night’s bed and full Irish breakfast with dinner on the first evening in the Grill restaurant and golf enthusiasts should take advantage of the Roe Park Resort’s golf break which includes an overnight stay, unlimited rounds of golf, use of the Fairways Health Club and a locally sourced full Irish breakfast.To find out more about activities and events taking place in Northern Ireland click on www.discovernorthernireland.com/autumnleaves or visit your local visitor information centre.*All offers are valid until December 13th 2015.TRAVEL: CHECK OUT THE LASTEST OFFERS FOR A MID-TERM BREAK IN THE NORTH was last modified: October 17th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Another young English footballer could be about to leave the Premier League

first_img ALTERED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Edwards has been compared to Lionel Messi by Mauricio Pochettino Latest Tottenham Hotspur News REVEALED Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Edwards, 19, has been compared to Lionel Messi by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and the north London club tied him down to a long-term professional deal which still has two years left to run.However, despite shining for England at youth level and being in the European under-19 Championship winning side last year, Edwards has struggled for first-team opportunities at his club.And according to SunSport, Leverkusen have made contact with Spurs to begin talks for him.The German club are acting because they fear they might lose in-demand wingers Leon Bailey and Julian Brandt before the summer transfer window closes. smart causal 2 2 Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener gameday possible standings Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes Edwards has thus been highlighted as the ideal candidate to replace them if they end up leaving.Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing Bailey, while Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is an admirer of Brandt.Should Edwards leave he would become the latest young English talent to leave the Premier League in order to get regular first-team football.He could also be the second player from Spurs’ academy to leave this summer after Reo Griffiths opted to join Lyon. Tottenham youngster Marcus Edwards is being targeted by Bayer Leverkusen.The Bundesliga side want to capture the highly-rated teenager on a permanent basis as they believe Edwards could make an impact similar to that of Jadon Sancho’s at Borussia Dortmund. Brandt and Bailey have been linked with moves to the Premier League REVEALED no dice Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures gameday cracker Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Sancho turned his back on Manchester City last season and has gradually established himself as a regular in the Dortmund fold.Meanwhile, Everton forward Ademola Lookman could return to RB Leipzig permanently following a successful loan spell last season.last_img read more

GARDAÍ NAB TWO BURGLARY SUSPECTS AFTER BREAK-IN

first_imgHarry’s RestaurantDETECTIVES are quizzing two men after a break-in.The raid took place on Harry’s Restaurant in Bridgend this morning around 2am.Gardaí were quickly on the scene and two suspects were arrested. The duo are being held today at Buncrana Garda Station.They are believed to be from the Derry area. GARDAÍ NAB TWO BURGLARY SUSPECTS AFTER BREAK-IN was last modified: March 14th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Investment in SA leaps 400%

first_imgConstruction at Orlando Stadium in Soweto in preparation for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Infrastructure development ahead of the tournament is one driver in the massive rise in mergers and acquisitions activity in the country.Mary AlexanderWith deals worth R82-billion (US$10.4-billion), foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Africa surged 400% in 2007, up from R18-billion ($2.3-billion) in 2006, according to the Ernst & Young Mergers & Acquisitions Review 2007.Released on Tuesday 11 March, the report reveals that much of this growth was spurred by investment from other emerging economies.“This trend was signified by the largest transaction of the year, the sale of a 20% stake in the Standard Bank group to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China,” says Dave Thayser, director for Ernst & Young transaction advisory services.Approved by 95% of shareholders in December 2007 and valued at R36.5-billion ($4.6-billion), the Chinese bank’s investment is a serial record-breaker. It’s the largest FDI in South Africa, the largest in Africa, and the largest, globally, by a Chinese bank.Not quite at the level of the Commercial Bank of China deal, but by no means small, the other driver of the 400% FDI inflow was the R25-billion ($3.2-billion) acquisition by Bain Capital, a multinational private-equity group, of South Africa’s Edcon. With CNA, Boardmans, Red Square, Jet and other brands under its belt, Edcon is one of South Africa’s leading retail groups.Ernst & Young’s Sean McPhee said international investors looking for higher yields found emerging economies a good bet. “We are encountering more and more foreign private equity groups that find the South African market attractive,” he said.“This stems from the growth our market is experiencing, access to resource-rich Africa, and the opportunities in infrastructure development.”Mergers, acquisitions and empowermentThe record FDI growth is seen as the main factor behind the 51.1% rise in total mergers and acquisitions (M&A) value in South Africa in 2007. Hitting another historic South African record, the year saw the signing of M&A deals worth R514-billion ($65-billion), with the top ten valued at R208.1-billion ($26.3-billion).Ernst & Young attributes much of this growth to black economic empowerment (BEE), which tends to encourage both the dissolution of traditional corporate structures and dynamic M&A deal-making. Empowerment deals jumped 71% in 2007 to R96-billion ($12.1-billion), another record. For every R100-million spent on a merger, some R20-million was spent on BEE.“M&A transactions constitute one of the dimensions of BEE and it consequently has become an important, perhaps crucial, aspect of M&A activity over the past few years,” said Thayser.One reason for the rise in BEE deals was the final publication of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Codes of Good Practice in 2007, which brought much-needed clarity to empowerment activity.Head of BEE at Ernst & Young, Sugan Palanee, said codes required companies to review their plans because they required less emphasis on equity ownership as the first priority. Other aspects of BEE, such as black participation in business and procurement from black business, have become more important.Infrastructure development and 2010Another driver was South Africa’s massive infrastructure development drive ahead of the 2010 Fifa Football World Cup. One of the largest BEE deals of the year, worth R7.6-billion ($961-million), was the sale of a substantial stake in cement company Holcim to the Afrisam BEE consortium. According to the latest Business Monitor International (BMI) infrastructure report, the South African construction industry has seen impressive growth in the last few years, with much potential for future expansion.“The forthcoming 2010 Fifa Football World Cup is expected to provide a tremendous boost to infrastructure development in the country,” said Thayser. “BMI expects the industry to grow at 6.14% during 2008 to 2012.”In 2007 many more construction-sector firms listed on the JSE, South Africa’s stock exchange, than in the previous year.“Once listed, the first thing many companies embark upon is bedding down one or more acquisitions, which are often important for the company to move from being a regional to a national player,” says John Wetton, Director at Ernst & Young “Reasons for consolidation are numerous, but one of the primary drivers of this trend is the increased complexity of the business environment.”Consolidation between existing players also became apparent, as well as deals intended to diversify the interests of existing players. The largest example during 2007 was the decision of the Royal Bafokeng Holdings to buy short term insurance company Mutual and Federal for R8-billion ($1-billion).“The private equity sector continued in 2007 where it left off in 2006,” said Thayser. “In the latter year, we reported that private equity had come of age in South Africa, with a number of major deals having been announced as well as record activity evident in funding.”This rapid growth has also brought with it greater shareholder assertiveness. “The feature of 2007 was a rise in shareholder activism broadly defined, or at least an apparent rise due to an appreciable increase in the volume of the verbal interplay,” said Thayser. “Three deals in 2007 really cemented the extraordinary power of institutional shareholders in SA and their increasing propensity to use this influence.”These deals were the bid by furniture and transport company Steinhoff for furniture retailer JD Group, the bid for Rainbow by conglomerate Remgro and Brait’s private equity bid for Shoprite.Thayser was reasonably confident in South Africa’s M&A prospects for 2008. “Pipelines of listings and private equity transactions remain strong and private local equity companies remain flush with cash,” he said. “Overall, confidence seems high that the South African economy will proceed modestly this year and M&A overall will be down – but not out.”Related articlesSouth Africa’s economyBlack economic empowermentInfrastructure developmentUseful linksErnst & Young South AfricaDepartment of Trade and IndustryIndustrial and Commercial Bank of ChinaStandard BankBain CapitalEdconlast_img read more