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First Lifestyle

YEAR: 2000

There's a gap in the board And Ethos took it

To unlock value, de-list.

With small cap companies currently out of flavour with the market, many investment opportunities are being overlooked. One such opportunity is First Lifestyle Holdings, the food and leisure group, identified by the Ethos team as having immense potential.

"We are attracted by Lifestyle's management, its entrepreneurial spirit and its positioning in certain market niches. It has the right mix of growth and stability," comments Ethos partner, Eugene Stals.

Lifestyle comprises high-end niche brands such as Pieman's Pantry, Seemann's Meat Products, Astoria and Fifers Bakeries, Tradewinds Parasols, Weber, Braai Star, Big Jim and Lifestyle. Gull foods is a major supplier of convenience foods to Woolworths. Ethos Fund IV, in partnership with executives from the management of Lifestyle, has bought out the company for R492 million. The company is now focusing on accelerating its growth within South Africa and its penetration into the export market. Ethos will be assisting management with strategies for the businesses. The company will be delisted from the JSE, allowing it to grow unreservedly and to concentrate on its core business.

This is Ethos' 81st transaction and is the fifth deal concluded by Ethos Fund IV. The conclusion of this deal brings the total enterprise value of Fund IV's acquisitions to R6.2 billion (US$838 million).