Glass maker pledges black ownership boost
SOUTH African glass bottle maker Consol aims to raise at least R3.5bn through an initial public offering as it returns to the JSE.
Trade is expected to commence on May 4 after the firm was in the hands of private equity groups for more than a decade, the company said.
It pledged to open its doors for black people – in a way which many companies listed on the JSE view as not being a true friend of transformation and empowerment broadly.
Consol said it had established an employee share ownership programme (Esop) to bolster its broadbased black economic empowerment credentials and incentivising and empowering qualifying employees.
The issue of Esop will be closely watch by transformation agents given the latest “feud” between global security giant G4S and its employees.
Workers accused the company of having failed to pay 13% dividends on shares promised to them and backdated to 2005.
The G4S black economic empowerment-styled trust was established in 2005 and promised a 13% share ownership to the workers.
But the scheme is yet to pay a cent to its beneficiaries, which has pushed workers to question the scheme.
As a result, as Consol is coming back home to list and promised Esop, observers said this was going to be watched closely and hopefully would push other companies into the same commitment to transformation.
Consol will be listed on the industrial containers and packaging sector of the main board of the stock exchange operated by the JSE.
According to the company, it will trade under the abbreviated name Consol and the initial indicative offer price range will be about R6.50 a share, corresponding to an expected market capitalisation of between R8bn and R9.8bn.
“The listing will allow us to pursue our growth strategy in Africa and achieve our ambition of being the first choice for glass packaging supply in Africa,” Consol CEO Mike Arnold, said.
Consol is the leading glass packaging manufacturer in sub-Saharan Africa by manufacturing capacity, providing glass packaging products to customers in a variety of industries including beer, wine, flavoured alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, spirits and food.
The packaging giant, has operations in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria and exports to 17 African jurisdictions from its facilities in South Africa and Kenya.
In addition, Consol is constructing a new greenfield facility in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia.
The company intends to achieve growth through continuing to drive profitable growth in southern Africa by retaining market share, investing in its asset base to improve profitability and growing volumes by benefiting from the South African market’s volume growth potential of approximately 3-4% a year.
GLASS TRADE: Consol is returning home with its sights set on raising at least R8bn on the Johannesburg bourse to boost its coffers.