Happy hour at Dis­tell?

Two direc­tors de­cant shares worth a com­bined R5,2m

Finweek English Edition - - COMPANIES&MARKETS - MARC HASENFUSS marc.hasenfuss@finweek.co.za

STEL­LEN­BOSCH-BASED liquor group Dis­tell is a great com­pany – with as­tute man­age­ment, a di­verse range of best-sell­ing brands, strong cash flows (with rand hedge qual­i­ties) and a propen­sity to pour out stiff div­i­dends on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. But Dis­tell’s big draw­back is it isn’t the most liq­uid stock on the JSE, with al­most 90% of its is­sued shares locked up in the Remgro/ CapVin and SAB­Miller ar­range­ment.

Were it not for that scarcity of stock, Dis­tell would be per­fect fod­der for in­sti­tu­tional share­hold­ers – es­pe­cially those as­set man­agers who look for a mix of growth and yield.

But per­haps there are a hand­ful of rea­sons for some Easter cheer. Our direc­tors’ deal­ings ta­ble this week shows two Dis­tell ex­ec­u­tives sell­ing off a whack of shares – scrip that would no doubt have been grate­fully scooped up by long-parched mar­ket par­tic­i­pants.

In the pre­vi­ous week, Finweek also no­ticed two Dis­tell direc­tors (plus Remgro di­rec­tor Emile Bührmann) sell­ing off a few shares. While the pre­vi­ous direc­tors’ deal­ings in­volved less than 10 000 shares in Dis­tell, last week’s trans­ac­tion by com­pany sec­re­tary Stof­fel Cronjé and sales di­rec­tor Nantha Mood­ley in­volved a more sub­stan­tial trans­ac­tion of more than 70 000 shares worth R5,2m. Maybe they’ll even set a trend? Now, we won­der, who might have picked up the shares so kindly put into the mar­ket by those Dis­tell direc­tors? Hope­fully, a clever in­sti­tu­tional share­holder or a few smart small in­vestors tapped in – al­though we can’t dis­count the chances of ma­jor share­hold­ers for­ti­fy­ing their po­si­tions.

We doubt Zeder – which re­cently gave up KWV – would want to di­rectly top up its Dis­tell hold­ing, which is mainly stored away in un­listed CapeVin Hold­ings.

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