South Africa private security firm Fidelity Services Group eyes up stock market with IPO

South Africa’s largest private security firm, Fidelity Services Group, is considering an initial public offering.

If they go ahead, it will be the country’s first in four years. Fidelity’s IPO would be the first  since food maker Libstar Holdings Ltd in 2018.

The Johannesburg-based firm is still considering a share sale later this year, with factors including market volatility and uncertainty caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affecting the final decision. Sources close to the business say the plans are still private and remain undecided.

Currently, the company could be valued at about R10 billion ($662 million) and plans are at an early stage, but as of yet Fidelity has declined to comment.

At present, Africa’s largest stock exchange has seen a spate of delistings since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, so Fidelity could be a welcome sign of a positive and stable market in South Africa. On a global scale, the markets have seen a flotation boom with $671 billion raised in 2021, compared with $471 billion in the previous year.

The private security industry in South Africa is thriving and is in high demand. The country has more than 11,000 businesses registered in the sector employing more than 500,000 guards.

Fidelity is the largest private security firm in South Africa and has 58,000 staff in its current headcount. The business supports a wide range of sectors including housing complexes, casinos and cash-in-transit services. In recent years, the Fidelity group has made a number of acquisitions in recent years as it continues to grow, including an agreement to purchase U.S. company Tyco’s South African business ADT in 2016.

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