JSE-listed investment and empowerment group, Grand Parade Investments (GPI), announced today that it has signed a joint venture agreement with German-based gaming manufacturer and operator Merkur Gaming GmbH to locally manufacture, assemble and distribute gaming machines.
Merkur Gaming GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the family-owned Gauselmann Group.
GPI said there were no gambling machines manufacturing facilities in South Africa, notwithstanding the fact that the industry currently contributes about R50-billion to GDP annually.
GPI and Merkur have formed a new company called Grand Merkur for the venture.The group said the new company will also investigate opportunities for the possible operation of gaming facilities, and look to develop a training centre, as well as a research and development centre, where locally designed software, games and alternate hardware will be developed.
Thomas Niehenke, Chief Operating Officer of the Gauselmann Group said “Grand Merkur was established because both Merkur and GPI saw significant growth prospects in South Africa and throughout the continent. For Merkur, Africa offers an ideal expansion opportunity for our ever expanding manufacturing arm, Gauselmann adp.”
Niehenke added “Currently, South Africa has no local slot or gaming machine manufacturing plant, which we believe presents us with an ideal gap in the market. GPI’s gaming experience and established industry relationships make it an ideal partner in Africa.”
Hassen Adams, Executive Chairman of GPI said: “The opportunity offered by the joint venture to export our manufactured products to the rest of the continent, Europe and elsewhere is a significant benefit. We also expect it to create a significant number of new jobs and careers in the local manufacturing industry, which will naturally provide significant economic multipliers for the country”.
“For GPI the venture forms part of our vision and commitment to invest in South Africa and its communities and to advance transformation and economic empowerment. Both GPI and Merkur have similar histories, philosophies and visions and as such form a perfect fit. We each share a commitment to investing in people and communities, ensuring innovation as well as growth and sustainability.”
GPI has also signed further agreements with South African electronics contract manufacturer Tellumat, formerly Plessey, to assist with the project and to secure their services at its Atlantis and Retreat plants. Tellumat has been in existence as an electronics manufacturer in South Africa since the 1960s, and is currently manufacturing and assembling for the likes of Boeing, Air Bus, Telkom, Eskom and Sony.