Founded in 1948 as a motor dealership in Johannesburg, and listed on the JSE in 1987, Imperial Holdings evolved into one of the country's largest diversified multinational groups. Through political, social and economic shifts, it grew into a globally significant importer, distributor and dealer of motor vehicles and associated products and services, while expanding into adjacent businesses associated with the transport of goods.

Imperial's decentralised business model facilitated and encouraged the acquisition, development and growth of large and small businesses alike, balancing a strong entrepreneurial culture with disciplined financial control and sound governance.

Post 2008, a major portfolio restructuring was implemented with an emphasis on retaining and investing in businesses with the potential to generate higher yields on capital and defensive annuity income streams. A landmark development in Imperial Holdings' growth trajectory was the acquisition of CIC Holdings in 2010, a consumer-packaged goods distribution business active in the SADC region, which initiated and accelerated Imperial's expansion into the rest of Africa.

By 2014, as a multinational industrial services and retail group, Imperial Holdings employed more than 52 000 people and generated revenues in excess of R100 billion, across logistics, automotive and industrial, and financial services sectors. Later that year, to enhance strategic clarity, a fundamental transformation was initiated to unlock intrinsic value within the group. The substantial portfolio optimisation since 2014 saw as many as 55 businesses and 90 properties disposed of, and 17 strategically aligned high-quality assets acquired. From 1 July 2016 and 1 January 2017, respectively, the group consolidated its logistics and automotive operating companies and assets within two large, multinational businesses, Imperial Logistics and Motus Holdings, each with its own board, chief executive officer and executive committee. Further entrenching their independence, the functions of the group head office were systematically devolved, and exemplary governance standards and structures replicated within each company.

On 1 July 2017, the group's executive committee was disbanded, and its authority transferred to the two divisional boards. After considering if the long-term prospects of each business would be enhanced by being separately listed, the group board approved the unbundling and separate listing of Motus Holdings, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. The board established that this would enable both companies to operate in a more focused and efficient way, and to achieve their respective strategic ambitions, unlocking value for shareholders over the long term.

The past

Imperial concluded the acquisition of a 65% stake in Geka Pharma, a distributor of pharmaceutical, medical, surgical and allied products in Namibia.

Acquired a further 8% equity stake in MDS Logistics, Nigeria's leading provider of integrated supply chain solutions.

Acquired a 51% interest in Far East Mercantile, Ghana – a well established importer and distributor of FMCG.

Acquired a 60% shareholding in Axis Group International which specialises in sourcing and procurement in Asian markets.


Acquired the remaining minority shares within the entity previously known as Imperial Sasfin Logistics.

Entered into a partnership with Turkish freight forwarder M Ekspres (known as MEX), creating a new multi-modal freight management business and specialising in traffic to, from and transiting Turkey.

Acquired a 49% shareholding in Pharmafrique Proprietary Limited (trading as Kiara Health) - a pharmaceutical manufacturing and healthcare services company which serves as the local manufacturing partner for a global leader in generic and biosimilar medicines.


Increased our equity stake in MDS Logistics, Nigeria's leading provider of integrated supply chain solutions to 57%.

Demerger of Motus creating a focused logistics/distribution platform.


Acquired Surgipharm to expand our healthcare route-to-market capabilities into Kenya.


Identified consolidated and rationalisation opportunities in cross-border transport companies.

Entered the pharmaceutical distributorship market in Nigeria through acquisition of Eco Health.


Leverage Imperial Managed Logistics Africa capabilities to focus in Rest of Africa

Acquired 70% stake in Imres, Managed Logistics Africa which provides sourcing and procurement services to NGOs donors and private organisations.

Entered Healthcare industry with extensive African footprint through acquisition of RTT Medical.


Entered the Nigerian warehousing and distribution market through acquisition of 49% of MDS Logistics.

Consolidated all “Rest of Africa” capabilities in African Regions Division (CIC from ILCP).


Created African Region Divisions by grouping cross-border transport operating companies.


Entered the Distributorship business through acquisition of CIC Holdings.