Timber firm Yorkcor sets up BEE deal in sale to Blackstar

Forestry products group Yorkcor said yesterday that the Tucker family, which has controlled the group for almost a century, will sell majority ownership to Luxembourg- based investment company Blackstar Investors.

Forestry products group Yorkcor said yesterday that the Tucker family, which has controlled the group for almost a century, will sell majority ownership to Luxembourg- based investment company Blackstar Investors.

In terms of the transaction, the Tucker family will dispose of its entire 84,75 percent interest in Yorkcor. Blackstar and Yorkcor will make a joint cash offer to acquire 100percent of Yorkcor's issued share capital at R9,80 a share, with Yorkcor undertaking to acquire 26 percent of this on behalf of new BEE shareholders, and Blackstar receiving the balance.

The offer price is 21,6 percent below the market price for Yorkcor shares on November 3, the last trading day before the announcement.

The new BEE shareholders comprise a range of staff and community trusts. They will acquire their shares via two special purpose vehicles in fulfilment of the group's BEE objective.

Blackstar, which is listed on the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and focuses on BEE opportunities in South Africa, has agreed to provide funding to the BEE trusts to facilitate the acquisition.

The company said it saw an opportunity, in buying the Tucker family's interest in Yorkcor, to play a significant role, both as an investor and as the facilitator of black empowerment within Yorkcor.

Blackstar, which will initially own 58,75percent of Yorkcor, intends to place 10to 15 percent of Yorkcor's entire issued share capital with other investors over time, to take its investment below a 50 percent controlling position. - I-Net Bridge

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