History of Makalani

Makalani Management Company (Pty) Ltd (“Makalani”) was established in 2005 to perform the activities of managing the R2.5 billion mezzanine asset portfolio of Makalani Holdings Ltd (“Fund I”). These activities included deal origination, mezzanine and debt structuring as well as portfolio management. Fund I is fully invested and is in a process of returning funds to its investors. Makalani is in the final stages of raising capital for a second mezzanine fund (“Fund II”) of R1 billion from a range of South African and/or foreign investors.

Makalani Entities and Relationships

Mezzanine Finance

Mezzanine Finance is a hybrid of debt and equity financing that is typically used to finance the expansion of existing companies. Mezzanine financing is basically debt capital that gives the lender the rights to convert to an ownership or equity interest in the company if the loan is not paid back in time and in full. It is generally subordinated to debt provided by senior lenders such as banks and venture capital companies.

Mezzanine finance is considered a useful financing solution when companies and/or their shareholders want to raise capital and not be subject to the restrictions of more traditional finance or equity solutions. Benefits of mezzanine finance include:

  • Avoiding of significant equity dilution which accompanies traditional private equity deal structures;
  • Avoiding potentially disruptive shareholder disputes;
  • Assisting new BEE participants in obtaining equity ownership in established businesses;
  • Providing the funding required for the buy-out of a business currently run by a management team or assisting managers in buying into a new business; and
  • Helping managers expand their existing business by providing expansionary capital that can also be used to fund the purchase of businesses which complement the existing operations and provide critical mass.

For further information of Mezzanine Funding opportunities available at Makalani, please refer to Fund II (click here).

The Team

Makalani’s management team consists of qualified investment professionals with a background in BEE and mezzanine financing. Using experience gained from Makalani Holdings and other successes within the BEE and mezzanine funding space, the management team is uniquely placed to capitalise on mezzanine investment opportunities arising in the South African market.

Investment Professionals

Keshan Pillay – CEO
BCom (UDW), Executive Development Programme (WBS)
Keshan Pillay joined Makalani as CEO in September 2008. He is an accomplished transactor with significant experience in the structuring and financing of BEE transactions. Before joining Makalani, he was the executive director responsible for finance and strategy at the Mineworkers Investment Company (“MIC”) where he helped grow MIC’s asset base strongly during his 10 year stay. Notable MIC transactions led by Keshan included BP, FirstRand, Metrofile, Tracker and the successful R15 billion public-to-private transactions of Peermont Global and Primedia.
In 2010, Keshan led the successful R1.9 billion delisting of Makalani, affording shareholders the opportunity to exit their investment at a fair price, and further allowing management to realise the net asset value of the portfolio in the unlisted environment for the remaining shareholders. In addition to his role at Makalani, Keshan is the independent Chairman of Eastvaal Motor Holdings.


Ahjeeth JaiJai – Executive
B.Com; LLB; H. Dip Tax Law; H.Dip. Co.Law; M.Sc (Fin and Fin Law)(London)
Ahjeeth began his banking career in 1999 at Standard Bank, Corporate and Investment Banking (formerly Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank). He began his career as a legal advisor within the Structured Finance business where he was trained in structuring, implementation and risk management of tax based financing structures. He progressed into a transacting role within the Project Finance team focusing on mining and telecom transactions. Ahjeeth was fortunate to have been involved in some of the largest transactions in the mining and telecoms sectors at that time.


Zuko Maponye – Financial manager
B Comm (Hons), CA(SA)
Zuko Maponye completed his articles at Deloitte in Port Elizabeth, where he qualified as a chartered accountant in 2008. Zuko joined Makalani in September 2011 as finance manager. Prior to Makalani, Zuko worked as a consultant for Deloitte Corporate Finance in Johannesburg and also spent time at Transnet and Standard Bank working as a finance manager.