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Fitch & Leedes

Long4Life to buy fast-track South African beverage producer

In a second move into the beverage sector, the investment firm founded by former Bidvest mogul, Brian Joffe, will pay at least R452-million in cash and shares for Stellenbosch’s Chill Beverages.

Joffe listed Long4Life in April and has since made a string of acquisitions, including sporting goods retailer, Holdsport, and beauty chain, Sorbet, and in August bought Gauteng co-packaging bottling company, Inhle Beverages.

Chill, whose brands include energy drink Score, Fitch & Leedes tonic waters, Bashew’s cola and sodas, Country Club genteel sodas and Peachee lemonade, has a manufacturing plant in Stellenbosch, around 50 km from Cape Town.

The company is currently owned by management and unlisted firms, Africa Beverage Venture and Raubenbel.

Long4Life will pay a minimum of R452-million rand for Chill, but the purchase price could rise to as much as R734-million depending on how profitable the beverage firm is in the year to the end of June 2018.

The deal will be settled 75% in cash and 25% in new Long4Life stock at a price of R5.21 per share.

“This acquisition is an exciting opportunity for us to enhance our presence in the growing South African beverage space, which we see as an important component of the lifestyle, wellness and leisure sector,” Joffe said in a statement. “Chill has an experienced and innovative management team, who will remain with the company after the acquisition.”

“Over the last year, we invested some R100m of capital expenditure to expand production facilities and improve efficiencies, which has boosted our class leading capability,” Chill MD and founding investor, Grant Hobbs, said in the statement.

“With the strategic and balance sheet strength that Long4Life provides, we can further enhance our integrated business model and take advantage of the tremendous growth prospects in the industry.”

Related reading:

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.