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Premier Group Returns to the JSE

Staff writer
March 27, 2023, 12:18 p.m.

Word count: 680

Shares in Premier Group have begun trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), giving investors exposure to a major South African food and consumer packaged goods (CPG) business.

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Shares in Premier Group have begun trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), giving investors exposure to a major South African food and consumer packaged goods (CPG) business.

Premier is the first company to list on the JSE this year, pushing up the number of listed companies on the bourse to 302 and raising overall market capitalisation to over R21.9 trn.

The Group is one of South Africa’s oldest companies that started as a bakery in Cape Town in 1824 and produces and markets iconic, South African brands such as Snowflake, Blue Ribbon, BB Bakeries, Iwisa, Nyala, Manhattan, Mister Sweet and Lil-lets. As part of the offer Brait PLC, Premier’s longstanding shareholder, offered to sell 66.9 million ordinary shares to institutional investors.

Premier and Brait have annoucned that the offer shares have been allocated to enable the listing of Premier on the JSE on Friday, 24 March 2023.  

Brait has raised an aggregate amount of ZAR3.6 billion through the sale of Premier shares to entities associated with Dr CH Wiese (who will hold 31% of the ordinary shares in issue following admission),  as well as South African institutional investors (who will hold 21% of the ordinary shares in issue).

Following the offer, Brait will continue to hold 47% and Premier’s management team 1%, respectively, of Premier’s ordinary shares in issue.   

Kobus Gertenbach, Chief Executive Officer of Premier Group, believes the decision to list on the JSE is an important and exciting step in the company’s growth journey. 

“Premier is one of the oldest companies in South Africa and has been listed on the JSE in the past.  The growth strategy executed over the past decade has resulted in sufficient scale whereby it is now more suitable to be publicly owned than stay private. The listing will give us a platform from which to pursue our organic and acquisitive growth strategy more readily, including, amongst other things, having access to greater sources of capital,” he said.

“We are excited to welcome back Premier Group to the JSE. The company listed on the JSE in 1960 and delisted in 2005. Over the last decade, Premier enjoyed phenomenal growth, which confirmed its blue-chip status,” added Valdene Reddy, the JSE’s Director of Capital Markets.

Premier Group, which now trades under the JSE share code PMR, reported revenue of R14.5 billion for the year ended 31 March 2022, which represented 16% growth over the prior year.

After the JSE introduced a raft of amendments to its listing regulations to cut red tape and improve efficiency, the bourse has seen a gradual increase in the number of issuers that have listed securities such as equities, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and sustainability bonds. 

The amendments have also allowed issuers to list and trade new securities including Actively Managed Certificates (AMCs) and Actively Managed Exchange Traded Funds (AMETFs), which were previously not available on the JSE.

“The listings amendments that we are introducing are bearing fruit as is evidenced by the increase in the listing of new securities such as equities, bonds and ETFs.  We are confident that the bourse will continue to attract more listings as issuers come to the JSE to raise capital to finance their growth,” explained Reddy.

Premier Group is positioned within the food and beverage, home and personal care sectors and has a presence in South Africa, Lesotho, eSwatini, Mozambique and the UK.

The company operates bakeries, wheat mills, maize mills, two sugar confectionery plants, a feminine hygiene manufacturing plant, a biscuit factory, a beverage plant, a pasta plant and an animal feeds factory. It is well known for distributing popular consumer brands such as Blue Ribbon, Snowflake, Iwisa, Lil-lets, Manhattan, and many more.

“Given that Premier Group also has operations in neighbouring African countries, its listing on the JSE will give investors exposure to these markets, in addition, to South Africa. South Africa’s deep capital markets and established supporting  infrastructure have placed our companies in an advantageous position to take advantage of trade and investment opportunities presented by the newly-established African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is liberalising trade, building new supply chains, and promoting industrialisation on the continent,” concluded Reddy.

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