Brait picks up South African baker for R1.5bn

South African merchant bank Brait has acquired domestic baker Premier Foods from the Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services for R1.5 bilion.

Brait, the South African merchant bank, has bought domestic baker Premier Foods from the Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services for R1.5 billion ($215 million, €152 million).

The Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services will receive R525 million in equity, while the remaining sum will be used to pay off the company’s debt.

Premier Foods grows and provides granary products such as Iwisa Maize Meal, Snowflake flour and Blue Ribbon bread. The company suffered R1 billion losses between 1999 and 2004, but has since become profitable.

It was purchased earlier this year for an undisclosed amount by the Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services, a trust structured to comply with South African black economic empowerment legislation, which encourages black management and ownership in order to compensate for the country’s apartheid past.

The successful buyout comes three months after Brait abandoned talks to take South African supermarket group Shoprite private for around R14.2 billion.