Home Manufacturer fund Investors launch new attempt to exit South African bottle maker Consol, sources...

Investors launch new attempt to exit South African bottle maker Consol, sources say

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A consortium led by South African investment firm Brait has revived plans to quit glass bottle maker Consol Glass, two sources said, possibly via an initial public offering (IPO) three years after a previous attempt. unsuccessful.

Private investors took Consol, which describes itself as the largest glass maker in sub-Saharan Africa, private in 2007 for 6.1 billion rand, worth around 1 billion rand (14.6 billion rand. rands) at the time. They withdrew the listing scheduled for 2018 in Johannesburg, citing difficult market conditions.

Brait’s stake in the company is held through its Brait Fund IV, which holds a 29.7% stake in Consol.

In 2018, the consortium, which also includes the private equity arm of insurer Old Mutual and Sanlam, wanted to sell about a third of Consol to raise R3 billion, or about $ 250 million at the time after depreciation. of the value of the rand. This would have valued the entire company at around R10 billion.

They have appointed banks to advise them in their latest exit attempt, said two sources, one directly involved in the talks and the other close to the matter.

Options on the table include a second IPO attempt, the source directly involved said, but declined to give further details.

Consol, which counts blue-chip companies among its clients, including brewing giants Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken, said its policy was not to comment on the speculation but would notify all stakeholders accordingly in the case. where a future IPO or change of ownership would be concluded.

“We do not speculate or comment on rumors regarding the asset owned or managed by Brait,” Brait said.

Britain’s Barclays is one of the collaborating banks with the consortium, the two sources said. The second source close to the talks said the investment banking arm of local lender FirstRand, RMB, was also named.

Barclays and RMB declined to comment. Old Mutual and Sanlam did not immediately comment.

Private equity investors in the region are taking advantage of the emergence of South African companies from the most severe impacts of Covid-19 as an opportunity to review their portfolios.

Three investment bankers have said a series of exit attempts are on the horizon, particularly in the industrial sector as South Africa slowly catches up with an ongoing trend in the West.

REUTERS