Fledge is an independent investment company that provides capital solutions to private companies across a wide range of industries that meet our investment criteria. We prefer to provide capital to companies with proven business models and leading management teams in order to grow those businesses.
Fledge typically provides funding for the following transactions:
Fledge is funded with permanent capital, enabling us to be patient, long-term investors. We are not under external pressure to invest, or to exit our investments. This also allows us to make quick business decisions.
Fledge was founded in 2010 by Louis van der Watt and Konrad Fleischhauer. Together and on their own, they have a track record of investing in unlisted businesses. They sought to formalise their relationship into an investment vehicle, which led to the establishment of Fledge Capital.
In 2017, African Rainbow Capital Investments Limited (ARC) became a shareholder in Fledge. ARC is the listed investment vehicle of Patrice Motsepe, the well-known South African industrialist, therefore Fledge qualifies as an empowerment partner to its investments with reference to ownership and control.
Our investment philosophy is to invest in and grow exceptional businesses through partnering with leading entrepreneurs and management teams. This philosophy is our foundation, and is reﬂected in our culture, conduct and investment decisions. We evaluate investment opportunities on the basis of their potential for long-term growth, and not short-term trading opportunities.
Fledge works actively with management to grow their businesses, seeking to add value beyond providing capital. We don’t just invest. We also contribute our collective skill, knowledge, strategic and general business acumen, as well as our access to an extensive network of business contacts.
We are committed to strong partnerships, long-term thinking, patience and adding value to our investments.
At Fledge, we understand that we are dealing with entrepreneurs and we pride ourselves on an investment process that is uncomplicated. We do, however, require an in-depth understanding of the company and its operating environment. We gain this understanding through:
- Market and industry analysis
- Evaluation of the sustainability of the business and its growth prospects
- Track record of the management team
- Current and future role of black economic empowerment (BEE)
- Pricing and capital structure of the business
- Commercial, ﬁnancial and legal due diligence (if required)
Fledge provides capital solutions to companies with robust business models, exceptional management teams, potential for growth and which are profitable (profits exceeding R20-million). In specific instances we will consider smaller businesses with exceptional potential.
The businesses we invest in must have:
- A sustainable business and revenue model
- The ability to grow and expand their footprint or offering
- A passionate, energetic management team with a proven track record and a clear understanding of both their business and the larger industry in which it operates
The combination of these three criteria determines the ultimate return for shareholders.
Louis van der Watt
Following the completion of his studies at the University of Pretoria (cum laude) and the former Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit, Louis qualified as a chartered accountant and passed the CIMA (UK) examination in 1992.
He finished his articles at Deloitte & Touche in Pretoria and established Atterbury in 1994 with Francois van Niekerk, where he is currently chief executive officer of the Atterbury Group. Under his leadership, the property investment company, Attacq Limited, was formed in 2005 and successfully listed on the main board of the JSE in October 2013.
At the age of 16, Louis received the Beeld and Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Award. In 2009 he was awarded the Christo Wiese Medal for Entrepreneurship from the South African Academy of Science and Arts and also received the University of Pretoria Laureate Award in 2012. Louis received the Business Leader of the Year Award from the Capital City Business Chamber in 2015.
Konrad started his career with PWC (then Coopers and Lybrand) after completing B.Eng (Industrial), B.Eng (Industrial) (Hons) and MBA degrees at the University of Pretoria.
Konrad has pursued a career in investment banking and private equity since 1998, and his career included periods with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Gensec Private Equity, Treacle Private Equity, which he co-founded in 2000, and Investec Principal Investments. He founded Fledge with Louis van der Watt in July 2010 and joined Fledge on a full-time basis in July 2011. Konrad completed more than 20 transactions for Fledge since 2011 and has assisted Fledge’s investment companies with several large merger and acquisition transactions.
Michael has a B.Com and B.Acc (Hons) and is a qualified Chartered Accountant CA(SA). He has 13 years of commercial experience at executive director level, including seven years as a managing director and major shareholder of a branded outdoor manufacturer and wholesaler, and the balance as a financial director. He also has 11 years’ experience as a non-executive director for non-listed companies in the private equity environment, especially entrepreneurial family businesses. In total, he has held over 20 different board positions in various industry sectors including ICT, manufacturing, construction, wholesaling and international online retailing.
Michael joined Fledge Capital in February 2018.
Paul is a CA(SA) with more than 10 years of commercial and investment banking experience and has a Master’s degree in IT Audit. His previous financial experience includes audit and advisory at Deloitte (SA and USA), risk analyst at Royal Bank of Scotland (UK), financial director at Kameeldrift Group and senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg.
Following the completion of his studies at the former Rand Afrikaans University (now UJ), Paul qualified as a chartered accountant CA(SA) and passed his M.Com degree in IT Audit. Paul completed his articles and CA(SA) qualification with Deloitte Johannesburg in 2007 as well as secondment to the Dallas, Texas (Deloitte) office in the US in 2008. He obtained his M.Com degree in IT Auditing in 2010.
Paul joined Fledge Capital in June 2014 and is responsible for the full financial function and portfolio management of the Fledge Group.
Martin is a CA(SA) with 26 years of corporate, project and structured finance experience, including eight years as financial director of a JSE-listed company.
After completing his articles at KPMG he joined the IDC for three years where he was exposed to over 30 different business models and management teams. He then worked at BoE Merchant Bank as Director of Specialised Finance, where he completed a number of transactions, including the listing and funding of resource businesses. In 2003 he was appointed to Anglo Platinum as Head of Corporate Finance and Business Development, and acted in the capacity of Joint Executive Head: Finance (CFO) for just over a year before leaving to join the Royal Bafokeng Group in 2009. There he negotiated and led the successful restructuring of the BRPM JV business, the corporatisation and independence of the business, Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s significantly oversubscribed IPO process in 2010, two major acquisition transactions and a number of equity capital raisings and debt financing processes in the platinum industry.
Martin joined Fledge Capital in March 2019.
Fourie du Preez
Fourie joined Fledge Capital on a full-time basis in 2016. During this period, Fourie has actively secured a number of transactions and potential transactions for Fledge Capital through his well-diversified network. He is actively involved in assisting Fledge Capital’s investments with growth opportunities and represents Fledge Capital on the board of ITNA/Munsoft.
Anlia du Plessis
Anlia joined Atterbury Property, as a student, where she gained experience in leasing administration. After obtaining her B.Tech (QS) from TUT, she continued at Atterbury, and later became Louis van der Watt’s assistant. Anlia joined Fledge Capital in 2012 and is responsible for assisting the team with various financial reporting and management functions.
JZ graduated with a B.Com Financial Management degree in 2005 and a BSc Construction Management degree from the University of Pretoria in 2008. He subsequently graduated with a Master of Construction Project Management degree from the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia in 2009.
His career started with Becker’s Construction in 2005 as a construction site manager. He joined Resilient Property Income Fund in 2010 as a Project Manager. In 2012 he joined the Moolman Group with various responsibilities in New Business, Development Management, Asset Management, Private Equity and Renewable Energy initiatives. He currently still serves on the Moolman Group Board as Director of Private Equity.
JZ joined Fledge Capital in January 2021.