Fast food joint founders gradually easing out – but shareholders needn’t worry
JOHN LEE HALAMANDRES is a busy man. So busy is he that he’s graced the sellers’ side of the accompanying table at least fortnightly since mid-2008. In that time the non-executive director of fast food restaurateur Famous Brands has pocketed at least R11,3m after selling 473 500 shares. This time he’s sold another 30 000 shares for R960 000. Offering no reason for any of the transactions, Halamandres was this time joined by another Famous Brands non-executive, Perikles Halamandaris (they’re all Halamandaris brothers, the former’s name being misspelt by the Home Affairs Department when he first arrived in South Africa from Greece) with a R16m sale of 500 000 shares.
Together with two other Halamandaris brothers, the duo not only control the Mugg & Bean and Wimpy chains (among many) but also dominate its board and are joint controlling shareholders of the company they founded a few decades ago. After a series of corporate actions, Famous Brands has grown into a R1,67bn revenue company from less than R500 000 in 2005. Profits have soared to R191 600 in financial 2010 from R53 000 in 2005. Investors have also been looked after well, with dividends of between 18c and 114c/share/year paid over the same period.
As it announced last week, being the winner of the retail Soccer World Cup Famous Brands’ shareholders can expect another generous payout in the interim period to August after a 24% sales growth during the tournament. Famous said its June/July sales equalled 83% of its December 2009 turnover, a peak trading month when South Africans normally spend freely.
Investors don’t have to read much
into the selling spree by the Halamandaris brothers. They both resigned their executive positions a few years ago after ensuring the group was on a sustainable growth trajectory. John resigned from the CE’s seat in 2001, a post he’d held since 1997, after spending 28 years with the company. Perikles was responsible for offshore expansion between 1994 and 1999 before setting off to concentrate on his own private ventures. His efforts delivered Wimpy UK, among others. However, family needs had to again come first as he was called back to the board in 2001.
For the second week running, Treacle Private Equity has bought a substantial number of shares in information security and information risk management company SecureData Holdings. Company chairman Rudolph Pretorius and non-executive director Njabulo Mthembu are the beneficiaries of the 1,9m shares Treacle bought last week and the 600 000 acquired the previous week. Treacle paid 81c and 80c for the respective lots. Another 430 000 shares were bought in January at 75c each. Those served to notch up Treacle’s SecureData stock stake past the 30% mark. That makes Treacle the largest shareholder in the company, followed at a distant second by another private equity fund operated by RMB with 17,35% of the stock.
However, the value Treacle sees in the share seems still a long way off. The current price of 90c/share puts SecureData on a historical earnings multiple of 28,67times its interim 0,8c/share profit.
JOHN HALAMANDRES Easing out