The Competition Tribunal on Thursday unconditionally approved the
management buyout (MBO) of Barloworld’s steel-tube
The MBO will see the senior management of Barloworld Robor and RMB
Ventures acquiring joint control of Robor.
It is understood that black economic-empowerment partners,
including two external partners and two staff trusts, would have a
28% shareholding of the company. Senior management will have the
rest of the shareholding.
In a previoud interview with Engineering News, Barloworld Robor CEO
Mike Coward said that the independent Robor would benefit from
being released from cost structures associated with being part of
Barloworld, including onerous corporate governance costs.
There was also a firm belief that Robor could be run at a lower
cost as an owner-managed business.
The company had also said that it was also on the verge of solving
the problems of the stainless steel tube business unit, which was
being relocated to Isando from Chamdor, the Chamdor property having
already been sold. This would mean that Robor would have four of
its businesses on a single site, made up of hot-rolled steel tube,
open sections, cold-rolled precision and stainless-steel business
“This would provide both cost and management benefits,”
Coward, who has led the company for the past 15 years, pointed
He was confident that Robor stood to benefit significantly from the
proposed government expenditure of R409-billion on public energy
and transport infrastructure, which would be very positive for the
The company stood to benefit from power-station heat-exchanger
demand, in particular, along with demand for structural-steel
sections for rail coaches and wagons and the many handrailings and
signboard poles and structures that will be in demand for the
Gautrain railway stations.
The entire 11-member executive team, bar one who was retiring, was
committed to the MBO and the 60-person senior management team had