Consol IPO may raise up to $415m

16th April 2018 By: Reuters

South African glass bottle maker Consol aims to raise up to $415-million via an initial public offering (IPO), it said on Monday, returning the firm to public markets after more than a decade in the hands of private equity groups

The flotation, pencilled in for April 30, comes amid growing confidence among investors and business leaders that President Cyril Ramaphosa will follow through on promises to revive the economy and bring policy certainty.

Consol, bought out for R6.1-billion in 2007 by private equity investors led by Brait, said it would sell 761-million shares, or 34.2% stake, at between R1.50 and R6.50 each, raising between R1.1-billion and R5-billion ($415-million) and values the company at as much as R14.3-billion.

Including the greenshoe option, or an over-allotment, of as much as 114.1-million shares to underwriters, the IPO could raise as much as R5.7-billion, Consol said.

Brait's stock has been hammered by concerns about its biggest shareholder Christo Wiese and the performance of its British retailer New Look. The South African tycoon is tallying up losses from a share price crash in Steinhoff, a retailer in the throes of an accounting scandal.

Consol, which counts blue chips such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Diageo and Heineken among its customers, said the listing would allow shareholders to cash in on their 11-year investment in the company and raise money to pay down debt, which includes R4.7-billion in loans from shareholders.

The company, which also operates in Kenya and Nigeria, reported a R1.6-billion ($134-million) in core earnings in the year to June 30, 2017 on revenue of R6.1-billion.

Goldman Sachs and BofA Merrill Lynch are working on the listing, along with South African banks RMB and Standard Bank, who will market the deal to domestic investors.