Long on prom­ise

Financial Mail - - DIAMONDS & DOGS - @jamiecarr

This has been an as­sured first year for Brian Joffe’s new ve­hi­cle, rais­ing some loot, list­ing on the JSE, as­sem­bling a team and ac­cu­mu­lat­ing some as­sets.

The group is con­cen­trat­ing on leisure and life­style busi­nesses, and has picked up in­vest­ments in its three di­vi­sional struc­tures of sport and re­cre­ation, per­sonal care and well­ness, and bev­er­ages. Now the chal­lenge is to lever­age off the foun­da­tions it has laid, ex­tend­ing prod­ucts and ser­vices, ex­pand­ing ge­o­graph­i­cally and mak­ing ac­qui­si­tions.

Sport and re­cre­ation en­com­passes Sports­mans Ware­house, Out­door Ware­house and Per­for­mance Brands — solid busi­nesses that pro­vide the com­pany with scale. In its other di­vi­sions, Long4life has ac­quired Sor­bet, Inhle Bev­er­ages and Chill Bev­er­ages.

The em­pha­sis is on de­cen­tralised op­er­a­tions and man­age­ment re­spon­si­bil­ity, backed by strate­gic and fi­nan­cial sup­port from the cen­tre. It’s an ap­proach that’s worked be­fore, and it should give the op­er­a­tions what they need to thrive.

The com­pany has also al­lo­cated R100m to ven­ture cap­i­tal, al­low­ing it to seed-fund early-stage in­vest­ments that have the po­ten­tial to grow.

Long4life is sit­ting on R1.7bn of cash, which gives it fire­power to chase in­vest­ments — as long as the prom­ise of our new po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship takes form. A grow­ing econ­omy and op­ti­mistic in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment will put wind in the sails, and Long4life points out that it is well­po­si­tioned to take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties. Joffe’s clearly done it be­fore, and Long4life has ev­ery chance of repli­cat­ing his for­mer suc­cesses.

Ini­tial es­ti­mates into the quan­tum of du­bi­ous as­sets at Stein­hoff may have been op­ti­mistic

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