Sovereign founders sell
Chicken company goes it alone
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.