You've come to know the Cova Advisory team as specialists in government incentives and advisors on customs related matters.

It now gives us great pleasure to introduce to you our latest service offering, delivered by our new Corporate Finance Advisory division.

Corporate Finance Advisory

All businesses and projects need funding and, depending on the risks associated with an initiative, this can be costly and difficult to secure. There are two distinct types of funding: commercial and development. Both are driven by very different agendas and institutions.

Commercial funding is driven by the private sector and seeks commercial returns (profit). The higher the risk of the initiative the higher the reward sought by the funder. These funders like to invest where there is impact but can only do so if the risk is commensurate with the reward.

Development finance, which is generally driven by governments, seeks impact. Government programmes, local and foreign, are typically aimed at initiatives such as job creation, greening the planet and transformation. They usually aim to de-risk initiatives by providing free or low-cost funding, which then allows commercial funding to be accessed at reasonable rates.
Assisting clients to access government grants and tax incentives is Cova’s core business. Accessing funding from these government programmes often requires commercial funding to be activated in parallel and Cova’s Corporate Finance division specialises in raising funding from a network of commercial and development funders.

What sets Cova apart is our in-depth understanding of the various funding mechanisms and our ability to use a mix of development and commercial funding to fund projects with impact. Our sweet spot is using development finance (with a special focus on government grants) to de-risk initiatives, which then helps unlock commercial funding at the best possible rates.

Cova has, since 2013, raised R2.5 billion for its clients in cash grants. Andrew Meerburg, who recently joined Cova and heads up the Corporate Finance team, has closed in excess of R 1.1 billion in acquisitions, sales and commercial debt raising transactions.

Finance Raising
Raising a mix of development and commercial funding (debt and equity) for our clients through a process comprising of:
  • Opportunity assessments: Assessing the availability of grant, development and commercial funding for your business
  • Funding strategy and deal structuring: Structuring your opportunity, project or business to access the available funding
  • Project preparation (if required): Drafting your business plans and compiling the associated financial models
  • Raising funding: Preparing the marketing documents (pitch decks), sourcing, managing and driving negotiations with funders to close

Other services our Corporate Finance Advisory division offers:
  • Transaction advisory services: Buy and sell-side advisory services where we can either provide a full service from strategy to closing or support your internal resources. B-BBEE deal structuring and management buy-outs.
  • Financial modelling: We build robust financial models to support fundraising, acquisitions, mergers, capital allocation, buy-outs and operational decision making. We also conduct independent technical reviews of models that have already been built. Our approach to modelling is to make the models simple to understand yet detailed enough to forecast the reality of businesses or projects. We follow financial modelling best practices to reduce the likelihood of error and to enable others to understand and work with the model themselves. We can do the full model build ourselves, provide the resources to build models under client instruction or provide guidance to client personnel to build the models.
  • Valuations: We provide valuations of companies to enable transactions and to assist in decision making. We also provide independent reviews of valuations as required.
  • Enterprise development and supplier development programme support: assessing and raising funding for (potential) suppliers

Meet the team

ANDREW MEERBURG – EXECUTIVE HEAD, CORPORATE FINANCE
Andrew, a Chartered Accountant with a Higher Diploma in Tax Law and a diploma in Industrial Engineering, is a commercially orientated finance professional with 24 years of business experience, 18 years of which have been spent as a CFO.

He has worked in the sport, retail, manufacturing, and logistics industries and his most recent corporate position, was as the financial director of SBV Services, growing with the business from R 330 million to R2.9 billion in revenue. SBV Services is the largest CIT and cash management company in South Africa with 6,500 staff operating in 4 countries.

The majority of his experience has been at a strategic level, in companies with complex business environments that have experienced rapid growth. He has conducted business in several countries and has sat on listed as well as unlisted boards, in South Africa and Africa. Andrew has a non-traditional corporate finance background; having built his corporate finance experience from within corporates buying and selling businesses and has learnt valuable lessons along the way.

Andrew left corporate and built his own successful Mergers and Acquisitions practice, rounding off his corporate finance experience as an advisor to companies, as opposed to being the principal. Andrew joined Cova, a majority black-owned consulting firm, that has positioned itself as a trusted advisor on government programs ranging from government grants and tax incentives to development finance. Cova has established a strong and effective network within both the private and public sectors and Andrew is able to leverage off this strength to fill transaction funding gaps.
FUNGAI BLAKE – TEAM LEAD
Fungai is a qualified Chartered Accountant, holding degrees in Accounting from the University of Cape Town, a Higher Diploma in Tax Law from the University of Johannesburg as well as an Advanced Financial Modelling certificate.

She has over 8 years of in-depth government grant and tax incentive experience which she accumulated at EY, Deloitte and Cova. She also has financial modelling expertise and has built up strong relationships with local DFIs

Fungai is able to use and leverage this unique set of skills to provide funding solutions that enable growth.
Contact Details

Andrew Meerburg
082 789 8915
AMeerburg@cova-advisory.co.za


Fungai Blake
066 204 3818
FBlake@cova-advisory.co.za