Feb 24

SOUTH AFRICA: KWV still open to suitors

Tag: Weingütersigi.hiss @ 09:16

By: Arnold Kirkby – South African wine and spirit company KWV has said it is still open to negotiation with possible suitors after this month’s failed takeover by Pioneer Foods.

KWV’s CEO, Thys Loubser, said today (22 February) that he needs more time for new major shareholder HCI to get to grips with the company before anything concrete can be decided. Black empowerment group HCI has purchased 31.8% of KWV from Zeder Investments.

Loubser said that a buyout of KWV by UK-based Halewood International remains a possibility, despite KWV having recently won a court case to deny Halewood access to „sensitive information“. Loubser will meet with Halewood’s local representative, Mike Veysie, in early March.

„If there is a deal to be made, then we must sit down and discuss it,“ said Loubser.

KWV’s core wine and spirits business swung to losses of ZAR7.2m (US$998m) in the first half of its fiscal year, versus profits of ZAR20.7m in 2009, it said today.

A deal with Halewood could help the South African drinks group to expand outside of wine and brandy. Loubser said KWV has to expand its spirits range, possibly to include an RTD stable.

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