Ethos To Delist JSE-listed Universal Industries
A consortium led by Ethos Private Equity has acquired and is in the process of delisting Universal Industries (”˜Universal’), from the JSE.
The leveraged buyout received overwhelming approval from shareholders and has achieved all the required regulatory approval, including Competition Commission approval. The price of R2.50 per share represents an enterprise value of R1.3bn.
The acquiring consortium comprises Ethos Private Equity Fund V and management and directors of Universal. It is intended that a BEE shareholder will be introduced in time to improve the empowerment credentials of the business.
Universal is the holding company for South Africa’s leading suppliers of:
- Refrigerated display cases
- Polyurethane insulated panels
- Commercial ovens and related baking equipment
- Commercial catering and kitchen equipment
The group supplies mainly to the perishable food retail, wholesale, hospitality and related industries. All underlying businesses are well established (some with a history of more than 100 years) and supply a diverse range of blue chip customers in the local and international markets.
Ethos partner, Shaun Zagnoev said: “This is an extremely attractive investment for Ethos in partnership with a highly regarded management team. Universal has considerable potential, with a leading share of the local market, powerful brands and exciting sub-Saharan growth prospects.”
“Together with management, we will unlock value by enhancing operational efficiencies while increasing local market share and directing substantial resources towards the burgeoning African opportunity,” added Ethos principal, Samantha Pokroy.
Ethos has a history of innovation in the South African private equity industry and is pleased to have concluded the first public-to-private transaction under the new Companies Act.
Daryl Paynter, Universal CEO, concludes that: “We are pleased to have Ethos as our new shareholders. They bring innovative strategies and business expertise to our dedicated management team. Our partnership will enhance Universal’s strategic objectives, particularly our African strategy, and will provide us with capacity to actively pursue acquisition opportunities.