Bidvest beefs up at the top to bolster offshore ambitions
Experience in food, banking and infrastructure is key for expansion both in South Africa and further afield
The potential unbundling of Motus from Imperial Holdings is the latest in a long trend of spinoffs since the end of apartheid.
Bidcorp, PPC, Mpact, and slew of other companies that have come about due to unbundling have enriched the South African economy, including retail stock holders.
Now as Imperial seeks to unlock further stakeholder value in both its logistics and automotive units, perhaps the unbundling of Bidvest is the closest comparison.
The market capitalisation of the Bidvest Group shot up more than 14% after the unbundling and listing of Bid Corporation (Bidcorp) on the JSE in mid-2016.The Bidvest Group remains, but Bidcorp, the international food services unit and by far the bigger sibling, has had a bumpier ride since then than its largely still home-bound industrial twin.
Such unbundlings tell a tale about markets and competition within a South African context. The wider world, where many of SA’s top listed companies have ventured, has proven to be a tough place.
Among those who have excelled are packaging maker Mondi, Mpact’s parent. The reasons are complex and varied, but being extremely strategic, diversified, and holding quality assets can help in most instances.
Bidvest, which is intent on venturing further into the world at large, has just appointed a gaggle of new independent non-executive directors, committee members and a lead independent director, Eric Diack, who is also executive chairman and de facto CEO of Aveng.
It is an impressive lineup of academic qualifications and real-world experience, including within the SA Reserve Bank and the World Bank, Woolworths Holdings, and Pioneer Food Group.
Experience in food, banking and infrastructure is key to Bidvest – both in SA and further afield.