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Apr 05, 2004

Boschendal: upliftment vision fortifies development plan

© Reuse this Some of South Africa’s poorest are to share in the most expensive real estate in South Africa, a R3,8-billion residential development at Boschendal in the Western Cape.

The wine estate’s new owners, a consortium of Luxembourg-registered company Citation Holdings SA, which has acquired 70%, and Kovacs Investments 608, a broad-based empowerment group, which has acquired 30%, have grand designs for the 300-year-old wine estate, which is nestled equidistantly between Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl.

In addition to the construction of the residential estate, which will include 20 founders’ estates, a number of low-impact homesteads, a retirement village and a boutique hotel, Boschendal plans to produce a pinnacle wine to compete with the world’s best, gradually increase its percentage of red wine sales and grow its exports.

Striking the largest wine-related empowerment deal in the country means that 550 previously- disadvantaged people will share in any profits.

Kovacs Investments is chaired by former-ANC-leader-of-the-Western-Cape-turned-businessman Chris Nissen.

Its shareholders are Ituseng Strategic Investments (30%), New Line Investments (35%), Umoya Holdings (10%) Ikamva Investment Holdings (15%), Jacques van der Heyde (5%), and two women’s groups, Khomelela and Dyambu, which hold the remaining 5%.

“It is still early days, but we are committed to being a market leader in black economic empowerment (BEE),” says Boschendal’s new CEO, Clive Venning.

“One of the reasons that Nissen is the chairman of the holding company is because of his considerable experience and expertise in facilitating partnerships that promote BEE and empowerment,” he says.

The consortium bought the assets of the 2 240 ha Boschendal estate from Anglo American Farms (Amfarms) last year for R323-million and took over its existing 220 employees, including cellar master JC Bekker and viticulturist Spekkies van Breda.

The entire wine business, restaurants and tourism elements will be headed up by the new MD of Boschendal Wines, Franco Barocas.

“The effective date of the transaction was November 1 and the transfer took place on March 9,” says Venning, whose other major developments in the last 15 years have included Pezula Private Estate, Sparrebosch Golf course and hotel, in Knysna, and Sun River/Borrowdale Brooke Country Club, in Zimbabwe.

In the first phase of the transaction the consortium has bought 917 ha, which is primarily the wine operation and includes all 11 dams on the estate; the red and white wineries with a combined capacity of 300 000 cases or 3,6-million bottles; restaurants Le Caf
Edited by: Jill Stanford
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