Two years ago, Omnia was fighting for survival.
The fertiliser, mining, explosive, and chemicals manufacturer’s share price lost 70% of its value in six months, and its massive debt burden dwarfed its market capitalisation on the JSE.
The almost 70-year-old Omnia was drowning in debt of almost R7 billion after large takeovers and other ambitious expansion plans. In 2017, it bought 90% of Umongo Petroleum in KwaZulu-Natal for R780 million in 2017, spending R1.2 billion to buy the agribio business Oro Agri the following year. It also built a massive nitrophosphate plant in Sasolburg for almost R700 million.