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BPL-for-print-CMYK-100mmx100mm-300dpiAbout our finance options

Business Partners Limited is a specialist risk finance company for formal small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa, and selected African countries. The company actively supports entrepreneurial growth by providing financing, specialist sectoral knowledge and added-value services for viable small and medium businesses.

  • Public unlisted company with asset base of R 2,7 billion
  • Established in 1981
  • Founder: Dr Anton Rupert
  • Current chairman: Dr Johann Rupert
  • Shareholders: diverse and include many listed companies
  • National office network comprising 21 branch offices.

Business Finance

The core of the company’s focus is on providing finance for formal small and medium enterprises.

Business Partners Limited structures unique, individualised financing solutions. Deals are structured using equity, shareholders’ loan accounts, revenue sharing and term loans or any combination of these. Business Partners Limited has developed a range of proprietal financing models that offer entrepreneurs maximum flexibility to suit their specific needs.

Applications for finance are assessed on the viability of a business, which comprises two important elements:

  • the business and
  • the entrepreneur

The business evaluation includes matters such as the product or service and its market acceptability, market size, the gearing of the business, and its ability to exist and grow, as well as the business’s history, the stage of its development and medium- to long-term profit potential, technical aspects and the location of the business.

In evaluating the entrepreneur, aspects such the ability to run a successful business on sound business principles, integrity, drive, vision and appropriate experience, are considered.

Business Partners Limited considers financing applications up to R25 million in all sectors of the economy — with the exception of on-lending activities, direct farming operations, underground mining and non-profit organisations — to those formal small and medium businesses whose gross assets are under R100 million, where annual turnover does not exceed R200 million and/or employees are less than 500 in number.

Applications for financing below R500 000 are usually not considered; and the company does not operate in the informal or micro enterprise sectors.

We require a complete business plan to be in place before an entrepreneur can apply for investment finance from us. The business plan can be emailed to us at or delivered to any of our offices country-wide.

Alternatively, you are welcome to submit a finance enquiry online and one of our investment officers will contact you.


Owner occupied property

Business Partners Limited can provide up to 100% finance (including requisition costs) to qualifying SMEs to buy their own business premises.

Accessing finance to purchase an owner-occupied business property

Business Partners Limited caters for the needs of the entrepreneur with a viable business who wants to purchase his or her own premises, but who has limited capital or security to contribute or who does not want to compromise the business’s cash resources for the deposit.

In most cases, conventional financiers require a cash deposit before considering financing a deal. The deposit amount depends on the risk appetite of the financier and deposits of up to 50% may be required.

Business Partners Limited however, allows the entrepreneur a choice of different financing options and can structure the deal by advancing up to 100% of the financing required.

Financing criteria

The operating business must be proven to be viable, able to afford the property and must have been in business for at least two to three years

The property will be evaluated in terms of location, price, purpose build, facilities, size and condition

The maximum repayment period for any property investment is ten years

Business Partners Limited will not only evaluate the property, but will also focus on the operating business. This means evaluating affordability, profitability, track record, and the entrepreneurs behind the business.

Structuring the deal

The deal must be seen in context of the risk. In the case of commercial financiers a cash deposit is often paid to hedge the risk. If the full amount is to be financed, Business Partners Limited takes a greater risk and therefore needs to be compensated for the risk taken. This means that Business Partners Limited will offer the finance at prime rate (plus or less some percentage, depending on the deal) for a period of up to ten years, but will also request incentives for taking the additional risk.

As compensation for risk, Business Partners Limited participates in the appreciated value of the property over a period of time. The result of this transaction for the entrepreneur is the following:

  • The entrepreneur secures the property and obtains an asset that may appreciate over a period of time;
  • The instalment will probably be in excess of the rental payable in the short term, but the entrepreneur has no subsequent rent escalation concerns;
  • The entrepreneur can upgrade the property, thereby increasing its value;
  • There are long term cash flow advantages.


  • Not having to pay a deposit means that the business’s working capital remains unaffected;
  • The entrepreneur secures a majority shareholding in the property without having to access own capital for the provision of a deposit;
  • The retention of working capital in the business impacts positively on profitability and growth;
  • Operational tenure is immediate and secure;
  • Costly relocation expenses, should the lease be terminated, are avoided;
  • The property cost in a volatile market is anchored;
  • The major cost of occupation is limited to ten years, instead of indefinite renting.


Investment property – Joint venture option

Business Partners Limited co-invests in multi-tenanted property projects – often when a potential investor is not able, or not keen, to invest the full deposit (equity) required by a commercial lending institution, or where a viable property investment has been over-geared and needs a restructuring of the existing debt, converting a debt finance model to an equity finance model.

The investment criteria and financing transaction can be summarised as follows:

  • The investor identifies a multi-tenanted property (existing or new development) and does basic due diligence;
  • The investor concludes a purchase agreement for the investment property.
  • Business Partners Limited considers the proposal and performs a detailed due diligence as co-investor;
  • Usually the first bond finance is sought from a commercial lender, and the balance contributed proportionally by the investor and Business Partners Limited. Shareholding depends on the relative contribution towards the equity portion (for example, if the equity required is R4 million, then R2 million contribution provides 50% shareholding);
  • The investment property is usually a fully tenanted completed complex, however well located land for immediate construction of a viable complex is also considered as well as a poorly managed complex which can be upgraded to add value.
  • Business Partners Limited manages the process (oversees the building process, legal implementation, and provides property management services, which include placement of tenants, maintenance, property administration and financial management);
  • The investor can be a passive investor or may play an active role during this process;
  • Regular shareholders meetings are held;
  • The investment is asset managed by all the shareholders in accordance with their investment requirements and profile.

Typical projects are suburban or neighbourhood shopping centres, industrial parks or office units.

11 stranack street, PMB , south aftica


Business Partners Limited

Ushika Naidoo



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