Friday, February 22, 2019
Phuthuma Nhleko

Phuthuma Nhleko

Pembani Group

NHLEKO built his reputation as the very able CEO of MTN Group. After leaving MTN, he looked set to conquer the world of mining using Pembani Group as the vehicle. Then he was called back to help MTN negotiate its way out of a hefty fine imposed by the Nigerian authorities. This doesn’t mean Pembani will have its foot off the pedal, however. If anything there will be more opportunities if distress in the mining sector intensifies. Pembani is also a very handy empowerment partner. Its growth in the resources sector began with the agreement in 2014 to merge its interests, which included stakes in South32’s energy coal and Exxaro, with those of Shanduka Group. Shanduka holds stakes in Lonmin, Glencore coal companies, and Pan African Resources. The combined company was valued at R13.5bn at the time the merger was announced. Although the slump in platinum and coal companies’ share prices in particular will have knocked that back considerably, it is still one of the largest black-controlled entities with financial muscle. It has been tipped as a possible contender for Anglo American’s coal assets. We also find it interesting Nhleko has resigned his board positions at Anglo American and Anglo American Platinum. Perhaps for potential conflict reasons...?


He was one of the founders of Worldwide Africa Investment Holdings and has worked as an engineer and a corporate financier. He led MTN for ten years, from 2001 to 2011, driving its expansion into Africa and the Middle East. He has a BSc in civil engineering from Ohio State University and an MBA from Atlanta University.