SOUTH AFRICA – Tiger Brands, JSE listed packaged food processor has announced that Khotso Mokhele would step down as chairman of the board on December 31.

According to reports by Reuters, Mokhele will be replaced by Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, a lead independent director at mining firm Exxaro, who will take over on Jan. 1 after a handover period starting from September.

Fraser-Moleketi has served in various cabinet roles from 1996 to 2008, including as Minister of Public Service and Administration and Minister for Welfare and Population Development.

Recently the food manufacturing giant entered into two separate agreements to sell its value-added meat product (VAMP) business units as going concerns for a combined R428 million (US$24.7 million).

The agreements are with two separate and unrelated purchasers i.e. Molare Proprietary Limited, one of South Africa’s largest pork processors and Silver Blade, a subsidiary of Country Bird Holdings.

The first agreement with Molare regards its abattoir business at Olifantsfontein, which Molare will acquire for R100 million (US$5.7m) and a further R17m (US$0.97m) for inventories at the business.

The transaction is expected to be finalised on 28 September, reports Fin24.

Silver Blade, on the other hand will acquire the meat processing businesses at Germiston, Polokwane and Pretoria for R153 million (US$8.7m), together with all the inventories located at the units for R158 million (US$9m).

The two agreements are subject to Tiger Brands shareholder approval, all regulatory approvals and the conclusion of transitional services agreements.

According to Tiger Brands, the disposal of the Vamp business portfolio, which was closed temporarily in 2018 after the world’s biggest listeriosis outbreak, is part of a strategic review initiated in 2017 before that outbreak after it concluded that the business was “not an ideal fit” within the group’s portfolio.

The owner of Jungle Oats has also said it expected its headline earnings per share (HEPS) from total operations for the year ending September 30 to fall between 35% and 40% from the 1,322 cents (US$0.7693) reported a year earlier.

Excluding its deli foods business in Nigeria and processed meat business, which are both discontinued, HEPS, the main profit measure in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items, is expected to fall by up to 33%.

The firm blamed a poor first half performance, Covid-19 related costs of R255 million (US$14.85 million) and restructuring costs estimated at about R70 million (US$4.1 million).

Tiger Brands additionally stated it would lose R302 million (US$17.8m) in the duration from deferring meals rate will increase as phase of government guidelines to guard consumers during the lockdown.

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