Back to the kitchen to dish up for shareholders
It was almost inevitable. When Bidvest CEO and founder Brian Joffe last month announced his retirement after almost 30 years in charge, he also announced that the group would unbundle and list its Foodservice business on the JSE.
Dividing up Bidvest is the only real option for an entity that has morphed from a catering business to one that operates in 21 countries, employs 141,000 people and generated over R200bn in revenue for the year to June 2015.
The scale and complexity of Bidvest is mind-blowing. It sells cars, handles freight, has a financial services operation, operates food services companies, sells stationery and also runs a football team.
The group has always been a mixed bag but in the past few years it has broadened the range of companies it owns. After a lengthy fight it beat out Chilean generics group CFR Pharmaceuticals in a R12.9bn deal to get a holding in drug maker Adcock Ingram. It also took over consumer goods group Home of Living Brands (formerly