Who Owns Whom

Our Products



WOWEB is Who Owns Whom’s proprietary, intuitive web-based research platform offering holistic quality information on the African business and economic environment. It is trusted by local and international corporations to facilitate quick and easy identification of the intelligence needed to inform key business functions:

  • Business Development & Retention
  • Procurement
  • Risk
  • Regulatory Requirements (KYC and FICA)
  • Strategy & Acquisitions
  • Investment
  • Private Equity
  • Industry Research



Country or Region specific industry research is provided on 290+ key industries across the African continent at the five-digit standard industrial classification code (SICC) level as set by STATSSA. It includes:

  • Industry research reports, covering:
    • Characteristics and size of the industry,
    • Key drivers and issues facing the industry,
    • Regulatory requirements,
    • Factors which influence the industry,
    • A SWOT analysis, and
    • The outlook for the industry.
  • An industry’s competitive landscape, and profiles of companies that operate in that industry,
  • A BEE overview of the industry and peer comparison in terms of each of the components of the BEE scorecard for South African companies.
  • Industry affiliations, i.e. associations, unions, SETAS, etc.,
  • M&A as well as infrastructure investment activity within an industry.
  • Ownership relationships of companies, including all significant listed and unlisted groups, multinational companies, empowerment groups and state corporations operating in Africa.
  • African and international footprint of 170,000+ companies showing direct and indirect holdings.
  • Government structures are presented at central, provincial and local government level.
  • Individual’s holdings are linked to person profiles (e.g. directors) on the database.
  • TakeOver Talk (TOT) tracks FDI into and out of Africa since 2007, which industries and which countries are being targeted and, in the case of South Africa, includes black empowerment transactions.
  • TOT lists a weekly record of M&A activity and investment in capacity, which is linked to all relevant WOWEB content sets.
  • Transactions can be filtered on a variety of criteria including FDI in and out and are also presented per company and industry.
  • Powerful data filtering functionality that enables users to query the entire database and extract only those data sets that meet their specific requirements into Excel.
  • Filters can be saved for future use.
  • Economic snapshots and overviews of African countries,
  • Trade agreements,
  • Major economic indicators per country and country comparisons,
  • Stock Exchanges operating in African countries.
  • The CIPC WOWEB MODULE gives authorised users access to entity and principal data from the Companies Intellectual and Property Commission (CIPC) via Who Owns Whom’s WOWEB research platform. Where relevant, CIPC entity and principal information is rendered in an integrated manner with WOWEB entity profiles to facilitate ease of navigation.

Company profiles are provided on 15 000+ active companies, 10% of which are listed and the balance private companies, multinationals or government entities. Profiles include:

  • Classification & statutory information,
  • Size indicators,
  • WOW Transparency Rating,
  • Black Economic Empowerment details and peer comparison for South African companies,
  • Black Owned and Black Industrialist indicators for South African companies,
  • Directors and senior management,
  • Ownership and corporate structure,
  • Africa footprint,
  • Professionals,
  • M&A and infrastructure investment activity by a company,
  • Notifiable company changes, i.e. changes to name, directors, shareholders, auditors, etc.,
  • Company reports (for listed companies & SOCs),
  • Published financials (for listed companies &SOC’s),
  • Sectors within which the company operates, and
  • Ability to download full or partial company profiles.
  • Details of 95 000+ directors and management of listed and unlisted companies, multinationals and state corporations operating in Africa, including South Africa.
  • Cross-directorships to establish director influence and trends in director share ownership.
  • A ten-year history of remuneration and shareholdings of directors of JSE-listed companies and information on company committee membership.
  • Politically Exposed Person (PEP) indicator associated with each director and manager of government organisations (i.e. SOC’s, municipalities, etc.)
  • Users can monitor a portfolio of companies, industries and/ or countries. Email alerts are received every time user- selected information is updated on the companies/ industries/ countries in the watchlist.
  • User preferences can be set for any combination of updates in company information, BEE certificates, annual reports, organograms, mergers and acquisitions, industry reports and stock exchanges, as well as the frequency with which they wish to receive the alerts.
  • Alerts emanating from a watchlist can be directed to multiple email addresses.
  • Balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statements for JSE and African listed companies, South African SOC’s and South African unlisted companies where disclosed.
  • A recently-launched WOW solution called Linkages overlays a series of algorithms over five datasets: companies; their directors; shareholders; advisors; and industries, highlighting multiple influences and potential conflicts of interest. The platform immediately identifies where else the directors, advisors and shareholders of a failed, failing or compromised company have influence with other companies and also where these parties share influences more than once.




Flexible and bespoke WOW Data Feed Services enable automated integration of Who Owns Whom’s extensive and reputable
content sets into clients’ internal sales, CRM, procurement, risk, compliance or other management systems.


  • Enriched business intelligence
  • Optimal data structuring and hygiene
  • Identification of cross-ownership and cross-directorships amongst clients/ suppliers
  • Maintenance and currency of critical data
  • Corroboration of client/supplier information
  • Enhanced operational efficiency

Legislation in South Africa follows the international trend of maintaining accurate information on clients and suppliers. Recent relevant legislation includes:

  • New Companies Act of 2008
  • B-BBEE Amendment Bill of 2012
  • FIC Act of 2001 and its Guidance Note of 2017
  • Preferential Procurement Regulations of 2016

While the objectives of these laws are to support the global fight against corruption and money laundering and the local objectives of socio-economic transformation and supporting SMMEs, their implementation also achieves operational efficiencies and maximises the benefits of sales, marketing and supply chain management efforts.

Ongoing B-BBEE management and Customer Due Diligence are two key drivers for clients using WOW Data Feed Services:

B-BBEE Management:

Detailed B-BBEE information on South African companies enables efficient peer comparison and optimisation of procurement and business development strategies to achieve B-BBEE objectives.

Customer Due Diligence:

WOW Data Feed Services support organisations in identifying potential risk factors associated with clients and corroborating their identities, i.e.:

  • Is the client domiciled in South Africa or in another country or does the client operate in another country?
  • If the client is a corporate vehicle, is it part of a complex or multi layered ownership structure?
  • What is the nature of the client’s business activity?
  • Does the client occupy a prominent public position or perform a public function at a senior level or does it have such individuals within its ownership and control structure?
  • Does the client operate in an industry that is subject to specific standards or regulatory requirements?
  • The name under which the legal person has been incorporated, its form and registration number.
  • The client’s ownership structure, directors/members and senior management.
  • Its trading name if it is different from the name under which it has been incorporated.
  • Its business address if it is different from the address of its registered office, etc.


Identify data sets that will inform and optimise the specific business requirement. Clients can select from a broad range of company information categories that cover 18 000+ African companies (90%+ of which are private entities), ownership information for 170 000+ companies and details of 95 000+ directors (including cross-directorships) across Africa, including South Africa:

Classification Information
Address and Contact Details
Supplementary Information
Financials for JSE Listed Entities and SA SOC’s
Company Size Indicator
Directors and Management
Director and Management Profiles
Committees (JSE Listed)
Director Holdings (JSE Listed)
Director Remuneration (JSE Listed & SOCs)
BEE Rating Information
TakeOver Talk
Company change notifications
Industry Report Executive Summaries
Ownership and Corporate Structures

Choose a Data Feed delivery methodology, i.e. via API or data files.


Automate processing of WOW data to inform, structure and enhance intelligence rendered through internal management system(s) in an efficient manner. Automated matching of subscribers’ clients/suppliers against the WOW database is also available at no additional fees to further facilitate optimal utilisation of the WOW data.


The Who Owns Whom industry report library covers more than 290 key industries across the African continent.
Each report can be purchased individually and includes a profile of prominent players in the industry.
Also included in the reports is information on:

  • The industry value chain;
  • The size of the sector;
  • The key drivers and issues facing the sector;
  • Regulatory requirements; and
  • Factors influencing the success of the sector, including the labour environment.

The report concludes with competition issues, a SWOT analysis and the outlook for the sector.

Who Owns Whom in Africa Publication

The Who Owns Whom hard copy and more recently, the e-book publication, has been published since 1980 and presents
an annual snapshot of South African business.

Included are profiles for all African listed companies as well as for a significant number of unlisted companies, State-Owned Entities
(SOEs) and multinationals. The information is categorised by subsidiary, director, shareholder, sector and country of domicile.