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Brian Joffe’s Long4Life acquires Gauteng co-packaging bottler

Long4Life, the new investment company started by Bidvest founder, Brian Joffe, will pay up to R360m for Gauteng co-packaging bottling company, Inhle Beverages.

Long4Life’s shares gained almost 2% today after announcing its third potential acquisition of the Gauteng-based company.

Long4Life is offering a cash and share deal, valued to a maximum of R360m.

Inhle is a well-established contract packaging (co-packaging) business based in Heidelberg, close to Jo’burg, and specialises in the canning and bottling of carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks and natural mineral water using cans and PET bottles.

It was established in 2003 with one production line, and today is the second largest beverage co-packaging business in South Africa with seven production lines, and with considerable s cope for expansion.

It employs around 300 staff and undertakes co-packaging on behalf of an established client base, which have all been growing respective volumes at a steady pace over the last few years.

Inhle is a family-owned business and the existing shareholders, the Botha family, and its management team will continue to be employed in the business.

Long4Life CE, Brian Joffe (left), commented: “This acquisition fulfills the broad definition of our investment criteria in the leisure space. It presents a strategic opportunity from which we can build a beverage business of scale, through both organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions.

“Immediate access to the largest market in the country as well as its proximity to surrounding territories, positions Inhle extremely well from an expansionary point of view,” added Joffe.

Inhle recently secured a liquor licence (for packaging purposes), which represents another industry opportunity for Long4Life to expand its interests in this sector.

The co-packaging on behalf of Inhle’s clients will initially be focused on canned, already-mixed beverage products, which has seen strong growth over the last few year.

Inhle director, Chris Botha, added: “The overriding benefit of this acquisition is that it positions Inhle for its next exciting growth chapter.

“As a family-owned business we have certain constraints, but partnering with Long4Life and being able to access its funding capability, as well as the vast entrepreneurial knowledge and experience of its team, allows us to better position ourselves for the future and, therefore, take advantage of the significant opportunity that exists in the rapidly growing beverage industry in South Africa.”

The concept of co-packaging on behalf of beverage manufacturers is a growing international trend , which ultimately reduces risk for the packaging supplier.

Due diligence and regulatory approval was still to be conducted, but the current intangible net asset value of Inhle was estimated at R58m, Long4Life said.

Approval for the deal is expected to be secured by October 31.

Long4Life launched in April with an intention of leveraging its management expertise in companies in the lifestyle and health sectors.

In July‚ Long4Life raised its bid for Holdsport, offering shareholders a choice between 12.1 Long4Life shares for each Holdsport share‚ or 11.2 shares plus R5 cash.

That same month‚ Long4Life bought 100% of beauty therapy franchise Sorbet for R116m‚ which was settled through a combination of cash and Long4Life shares.

It had issued a cautionary announcement earlier in August relating to the acquisition of Inhle, which is now withdrawn, while the discussions for the acquisition of Holdsport continue.

Source: Long4Life,

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