Snowflake owner Premier cans JSE listing as Ramaphosa crisis triggers market volatility

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JSE in Sandton.
JSE in Sandton.
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Investment holding company Brait said on Friday it has opted not to list fast-moving consumer goods group Premier on the JSE due to volatility, especially over the past 48 hours.

On Thursday, the rand and local bonds crashed as investors considered the prospect of an early exit for President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Brait owns 97% of Premier, whose brands include Iwisa maize, Snowflake flour and Mr Sweet, and announced plans in November for a potential listing, giving an equity valuation of between R6.9 billion and R8.9 billion.

The offer size was R3.7 billion, with R200 million of this a "greenshoe" option, which allows the issuing company to receive more capital if demand is higher than anticipated.

"Premier received a significant amount of investor interest and support for the business. However, the South African capital markets (in particular over the last 48 hours) have not been conducive to supporting a successful Initial Public Offering," Brait said in a statement.

"Therefore, the Premier board and shareholders have resolved not to proceed with the offer at this time."

Brait had said if the listing didn't proceed, Premier would then move private, in terms of which retail magnate Christo Wiese’s Titan and RMB - as underwriters of the proposed listing - would acquire roughly 50% of the group for R3.5 billion, with the remainder held by Brait.

"The Premier Board, management and shareholders remain excited about the opportunity to execute Premier’s growth strategy under private ownership," Brait said.

In June, giant Coca-Cola Beverages Africa indicated it was delaying its plans to list on the local bourse.

Brait's shares were down almost 7% to R3.89 in midday trade on Friday, having fallen 16% so far in 2022.

Click here for Brait's share price and other data.

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