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SAB announces R6bn BEE deal

By Adele Shevel | Jul 02, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

BREWING giant SABMiller yesterday announced a R6billion empowerment deal that will place about 10percent of the shares in its local subsidiary under black ownership.

The broad-based deal, which will cost R1,8billion to implement, sees at least 60000 new shareholders benefitting and has been described as a new benchmark for BEE.

Business tycoon and non-executive director of SABMiller Cyril Ramaphosa said: "It's a wonderful shot in the arm for empowerment."

He said BEE had been criticised in that it was not sufficiently broad based.

Among the new shareholders will be employees of SAB Ltd, black-owned beer and soft drink retailers and, through the newly-created SAB Foundation, historically disadvantaged communities. Employees and liquor retailers will each receive 40percent while the foundation will pocket the remainder.

Employees and the SAB Foundation are not required to pay for their shares, while no external bank funding will be required.

This, say executives, provides the company with flexibility, with the deal not being subject to market volatility.

It will also include permanent white employees who are not normally eligible for participation in the SABMiller group share incentive plans.

Norman Adami, managing director of SAB, said it would improve the company's ability to attract and retain staff.

The deal also provides an incentive for shebeen owners to obtain licences as only licensed retailers will benefit from the transaction.

A cash dividend stream is expected to be paid to all participants from year one. The size will be linked to SAB's operating performance over the next 10 years which are expected to be "meaningful".

The transaction will be spread over 10 years and boosts SAB's overall black ownership quota to 16percent.


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