To timeously and professionally apply our extensive legal, corporate and commercial knowledge in the deal making process for the ultimate benefit of our clients.


To be the preferred deal facilitator by offering specialist legal, corporate and commercial advice to sellers and buyers of well established, privately owned, businesses.


Established in 2004 by attorney Howard Pelkowitz, Ararat is an independent corporate advisory firm and is the preferred specialist advisor and merchant broker to sellers and buyers of medium and large sized businesses. Ararat proudly provides a professional, personal and confidential service.


We provide deal-based advice on how best to structure and implement M & A transactions, which may take the form of

  1. sales of shares, businesses and/or mergers
  2. investments by third parties
  3. refinancing by debt and/or equity
  4. listings and other transactions on the JSE


Our clients receive personal attention and assistance throughout the transaction and we deal with each transaction through direct consultations and negotiations. We enable owners and operators to continue running their businesses during the deal process as we interact directly with potential suitors and third party advisors.

Howard Pelkowitz

(BCom LLB, H Dip Company Law, H Dip Taxation Law)

Howard qualified as an attorney in the 1980s. In 1987 he joined Werksmans, Johannesburg and practised as a partner in the corporate and commercial department until 1995 when he and two of his fellow partners left to form their own corporate law firm, Rabin van den Berg & Pelkowitz. Howard specialises in contract law, mergers and acquisitions, listings, private equity and cross border transactions. From 2000 to 2003 Howard acted as an executive director of Brait Advisory Services and formed Ararat in 2004.

Notable transactions


Ararat facilitated the disposal to JSE listed WBHO of speciality pipe laying business, Insitu Pipelines. The deal was of significant benefit to both parties and, in particular, the BEE status of WBHO enabled Insitu to tender on public works.



Acting for the sellers, Ararat facilitated the disposal of Benoni Sand and Buildware, Wit Deep Sand and Stone, Alfa Sandworks, Vukuza Earth Works and Crushco, to a private equity consortium which ultimately reversed those assets into JSE-listed Buildmax Limited.



Ararat successfully brokered, facilitated and advised on the disposal to private equity house, Global Capital, of 50% of the shareholding of Pilot Crushtec an importer, assembler and distributor of stone crushing equipment to the mining and construction industries.



Ararat introduced a third party investor into micro lender Bruma Finance which resulted in significant value add on a financial and strategic level.



Ararat brokered the buy-out of the incumbent private equity partner and introduced a new (replacement) private equity partner. We advised on the structure and all relevant legal documentation including sale agreements, subscription and shareholder agreements, Memoranda of Incorporation, senior loan agreements, employment contracts etc.



Ararat brokered and facilitated on the disposal of one half of the ITS group to JSE listed company Adapt IT. We drafted and advised on sale agreements, shareholder agreements, Memoranda of Incorporation, employment contracts etc.



Ararat arranged the management buy-in and introduced a strategic and financial partner. We advised on all relevant legal documentation including sale agreements, subscription and shareholder agreements, Memoranda of Incorporation, senior loan agreements, employment contracts etc.



Ararat acted as corporate and legal advisor to M-Fitec International Limited in the listing of its shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.



Ararat acted as corporate and legal advisor to Ceramic and its independent board regarding the acquisition by Italtile Limited of certain ordinary shares of Ceramic. This transaction implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement in terms of sections 114 and 115 of the Companies Act. Deal value: R3.75 billion.


In addition to providing general corporate and commercial legal advisory services, Ararat accepts mandates from sellers and buyers of businesses in the firm belief that we have a better than reasonable chance of successfully and optimally concluding a transaction. We endeavour to ensure that each deal is holistically crafted to suit the needs of the client. Although we consider price to be a very important component of a deal, it is not the sole determinant of whether a deal is do-able or not. Uppermost in our minds are the so-called ‘softer issues’ such as chemistry between the parties; what the buyer intends doing with the business post implementation; staff; etc. These softer issues are particularly important where a seller remains on after the transaction whether as a consultant or for the purpose of fulfilling performance warranties or for any other reason.

More often than not, we find that pricing of a deal becomes secondary and the so-called ‘softer issues’ become the drivers of a good deal opportunity.

Prior to accepting a mandate, we conduct a ‘health check’ of the business to assure ourselves that the proposed transaction is viable. This is done by conducting a ‘high level’ due diligence investigation. Should we believe it is necessary to engage outside professional input, we will engage and project manage the relevant professional. If we believe that it is appropriate to do so, we prepare a confidential sale memorandum containing sufficient information which will enable an investor to take a considered view whether to pursue the opportunity or not.

We have an extensive network of quality buyers

These include listed companies, unlisted companies, high net-worth individuals, private equity houses and empowerment entities. We are extremely cautious, confidential and selective in taking any business “to market” and we only target buyers who are very carefully selected and who are pre-approved by our clients.

Sales approach

We market businesses in a very structured, controlled and professional manner and do not enter into a bidding process or an auction.

We do not publicly advertise businesses for sale. 

Once written offers are received, we place them before the client who makes the ultimate choice as to the preferred investor. Once that choice is made, the preferred investor is afforded a limited “shut out” or “close out” period within which to conduct its independent investigations with a view to finalising the transaction.


Fees earned from mandates are largely success-based but if clients require corporate and legal advisory services, these are charged for on a pre-agreed basis.



Mobile: 082 389 1205 | Howard@ararat.co.za

Landline: 010 110 0504

Fax: 011 327 6719



54 Glenhove Road, Melrose Estate, Johannesburg



PO Box 55302, Northlands, 2116

It is not what you know, it’s who knows whom.

To attract the right investor, Ararat grooms your business for sale-readiness

We know people who know people.

If you are looking to buy or sell a business we have an extensive network of investors.


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