Clover brushes off boycott threats on in its R4.8 billion buyout

Pro-Palestinian activists threaten to disrupt dairy producer's operations.

Johann Vorster (pictured), CEO of South African dairy producer Clover Industries, said a consortium that has proposed a R4.8 billion buyout offer of the company is excited and has already identified big plans for increased capital expenditure.

JSE- listed investment firm Brimstone said in February that it is reviewing its participation in a consortium that is seeking to acquire dairy producer Clover after protests over the participation on an Israeli company in the deal.

On February 4, Clover Industries said it received a R4.8 billion buyout offer from a consortium of companies called Milco, which offered Clover shareholders R25 per share.

The Milco consortium is led by Israel-based Central Bottling Company (CBC), which is offering to buy 59.5 percent of Clover. The remainder of the shareholding would be held by Brimstone Investment Corporation (15 percent) and executive management of Clover (6.3 percent).

“We are excited [about the transaction]. They [the consortium] have identified huge plans for increased capital and want everything to be reinvested in the business. This is a type of Foreign Direct Investment we need,” Vorster said in an interview with South Africa’s Business Day TV

Asked if he sees the deal going through, he said:“ I try not to get involved in shareholder issues.”

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions SA, which is a lobby group, has threatened a boycott of Clover due to the consortium being led by an Israel-based company (CBC). BDS has threatened “direct-action and a militant but peaceful campaign” if the deal goes through.

Brimstone has responded to this threat.

“Having regard to our company’s values driven identity, we have taken note of the widespread outrage in respect of Brimstone’s participation in the proposed purchase of South African company, Clover Industries as announced on Monday, 4 February 2019. Brimstone has therefore decided to review its role in the proposed transaction,” the company said in a statement last month.