Women group links with Johnson Controls

Kutana Investment Group, a black women-owned venture company, has linked up with the local office of American originated globalised facilities management player Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions (GWS) in a deal whose credibility might be let down by a veil of secrecy.

A statement issued by the two groups said Kutana has made an undisclosed investment in Johnson Controls GWS South Africa. Johnson Controls GWS is a subsidiary of New York Stock Exchange listed entity Johnson Controls which was established in 1885 and has in about 150 countries through 162000 employees. Johnson Controls GWS describes itself as a a leading provider of facilities, commercial real estate and energy management for many of the world’s largest companies. It has 21,000 employees spread over 75 countries.

On the Kutana partnership Johnson Controls GWS Middle East & Africa senior regional executive Phil Gregory said “The relationship with Kutana underlines Johnson Controls GWS’ commitment to South Africa and its transformation, as well as the advancement of the facilities management industry in the country. “A key part of that commitment is the continued focus on all aspects of black empowerment and our pride in a high Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) status.”

The statement said the investment provides Kutana with access to the facilities management sector, while allowing both companies to leverage their combined markets, skills and expertise.

Kutana was established in 2009 by CEO Thoko Mokgosi-Mwantembe, along with Jacqueline Huntley and Janine de Bruyn as law and BEE investment experts respectively. The group specifically invests in seven sectors, namely financial services, industrial and consumer services, agriculture, media, telecom ICT, resources and energy, as well as property and facilities.

“Facilities management is definitely a growth sector, which made Johnson Controls GWS a company of great interest to us. Our approach is to get involved where we have the knowledge to add value in terms of relationships, business experience and development activities. Johnson Controls GWS has values that are definitely aligned with ours, which is critical to us, as it is one of our three investment criteria. We would like to add value and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Mokgosi-Mwantembe.

The statement said Kutana will play an active role as a stakeholder in Johnson Controls GWS South Africa. The involvement of Kutana will be targeted towards four areas, strategy, business development, providing any skills they have at their disposal and assistance with all aspects of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE).

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