Sov­er­eign founders sell

Chicken com­pany goes it alone

Finweek English Edition - - Companies & markets - LLEWELLYN JONES

THE FOUND­ING SHARE­HOLD­ERS of Sov­er­eign Food plucked their re­main­ing stake out of the food group last week for R38m as a year- long re­stric­tion on their trade in stock ended.

Sov­er­eign chair­man Rob Span­jaard told Fin­week the shares sold were the re­main­ing shares owned by the orig­i­nal con­trol­ling con­sor­tium es­tab­lished in 1991. Th­ese resid­ual shares amounted to un­der 10% of the is­sued share cap­i­tal.

“With two of the ma­jor founders (Anne Both­well and Charles Charlewood) hav­ing re­tired some years ago and none of the orig­i­nal group­ing re­main­ing in­volved in man­age­ment of the group, it was de­cided to un­wind the con­trol struc­ture,” says Span­jaard.

The process of un­wind­ing the con­trol struc­ture be­gan in Fe­bru­ary last year when Sov­er­eign Food Hold­ings (the par­ent com­pany) sold a 21% stake in the listed op­er­at­ing com­pany to a range of in­sti­tu­tional share­hold­ers. Part of the deal back then was that Span­jaard would re­main on as non-ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and that the orig­i­nal par­ent com­pany wouldn’t sell any more stock for a year.

Both­well and Charlewood owned 64% of the hold­ing com­pany. Span­jaard and brother Bruce are re­flected as hav­ing an in­ter­est in the sale in the an­nounce­ment on Sens as they are re­lated to Both­well and Charlewood.

Span­jaard says the shares were taken up by five in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors.

Span­jaard also noted that MD Mike Davis and fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor Chris Coombes, who owned mi­nor­ity stakes in the orig­i­nal hold­ing com­pany, had re­tained their di­rect hold­ings in the com­pany and re­mained the ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment.


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