Cautious JSE debut for Lancewood cheese owner Libstar

Johannesburg- Libstar Holdings [JSE:LBR] debuted on the JSE mainboard on Wednesday, with a listing share price R12.50 per share, in what the food supplier described as an “historic moment”.

The company raised R3bn prior to listing, made up of a primary raise of R1.5bn and a secondary sell-down of R1.5bn from existing shareholders.

The shares slipped to R11.51 shortly after opening trade, but by 10:43 they were changing hands at R12.15, down 2.8% from the listing price.

CEO Andries van Rensburg said it is an historic moment for a company which has been in existence since 2005.

The firm produces and supplies an extensive range of food products, including the popular Lancewood cheese brand, to retailers and major companies. Its customers include supermarket chains Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Spar and Checkers as well as Unilever, Bidvest and Tiger Brands.

Libstar also supplies products to the food services industry, with customers such as KFC and McDonalds. The company is also the exclusive importer of brands like Tobasco, Kiri, Laughing Cow and Lurpak.

“The business was established back in 2005 and we have grown it into an R8.8bn turnover company, with a compound annual growth rate of 23% over the last three years,” said Van Rensburg.

At the time of listing, public shareholders owned 46% of the company. The balance of the shares are held by Abraaj with 37%, BEE shareholders account for 11% and management 6%.

Libstar’s Chief Financial Officer Robin Smith said the firm was already eyeing acquisitions in the domestic sector and looking to grow its exposure to export markets.

“One of our targets is to increase our exposure to the exports markets, but we also don’t want to be too exposed to exports due to currency volatility,” said Smith.

“Anything from 15% to 20% to our export revenue would be a good target, from the current base of around 12%,” he added.

Smith stated that listing while the market was a “bit soft” was good for business although they would have appreciated a “slightly higher price on listing”.

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