Peters Papers

Peters Papers Image




South Africa

Deal type

Management buy-out

Investment date


Exit date


Status date


Africa’s most prominent paper merchant

Peters Papers is South Africa’s second largest paper merchant with a trading history that stretches back 100 years. Peters Papers distributes 6,000 paper and associated products to around 3,000 customers, including commercial printers and resellers in South Africa and neighbouring countries. It sources products from more than 40 of the world’s leading paper mills and graphic sundries suppliers and employs 270 staff in its six sales and distribution outlets in South Africa and Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland. Peters Papers also has an export division based in Durban, which distributes into Sub-Saharan Africa.

Through its extensive distribution network, made up of 37,000 square metres of warehousing space and a delivery fleet of 50 vehicles, Peters Papers sells more than 100,000 tonnes of paper and board annually.

Actis’ investment in Peters Papers in 2005 was executed in partnership with the management team and Izingwe Capital, a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) investment company led by Sipho Pityana, the former director general of South Africa’s Departments of Labour and Foreign Affairs. This co-investment meant Peters Papers was the first empowered national merchant operating in South Africa.

Since its investment in 2005, Actis has helped the company grow its profitability through a number of cost reduction initiatives. These include undertaking an audit to identify where and how the business can use energy more efficiently as well as improving sales by increasing its export customer base. Actis has also supported the introduction of the BEE preferential procurement policy.