Back to the kitchen to dish up for share­hold­ers

Financial Mail - Investors Monthly - - Analysis -

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

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