South African operator, armed with $20 billion, is hunting for deals across Africa

South African port and freight-rail operator, Transnet SOC Ltd., said that it plans to expand its business to a list of 18 African countries and it is targeting about five transactions in 2018. It is also looking for opportunities in India, Middle East, and South Asia while it plans to increase its revenue to 100 billion rand ($8.6 billion).

“We want to move the company from a 60 billion rand company to a 100 billion rand company in the next three to four years,” Transnet group executive for strategy, Khaya Ngema said in an interview with Bloomberg.

In 2016, the Chief Executive Officer of Transnet, Siyabonga Gama said that the company which already operates in other African countries including Mozambique and Botswana set aside 20 billion rand for acquisitions and could get as much as 25 percent of its revenue from outside South Africa within six years.

According to the General manager for cross-border strategy of Transnet, Petrus Fusi, the company has several deals already in the works, including the purchases of stakes in a car terminal and multipurpose terminal at the port of Maputo, in Mozambique, which have been approved by its board and await ministerial approval. In Zimbabwe, the company and a South African-based consortium of Zimbabwean investors residing abroad won a contract to recapitalize the struggling National Railways of Zimbabwe. The idea is that the partnership develops into a long-term joint venture between Transnet and NRZ.

In Benin, Transnet is in talks about a long-term relationship with the state terminal company and is in the process of appointing transaction advisers.

In Kenya, the company will seek to operate the first three berths at the port of Lamu, which is being built by a Chinese company.

In Nigeria, the company is part of a larger consortium that includes General Electric Co. that is negotiating a 30-year concession to overhaul and operate about 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) of railway.

In Senegal, it’s looking at a project to rehabilitate a railway line from Dakar to a new iron-ore mine.

In Zambia, Transnet signed a memorandum of understanding to lease rolling stock to Zambia Railways and aims to have the transaction concluded by July.

Transnet has submitted expressions of interest for railway lines in Ghana.