South African company confirms withdrawal from Clover Dairy deal

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

BDS South Africa said it commends Brimstone for interacting with organizations and members of the public, and for exiting the takeover.
BDS South Africa said it commends Brimstone for interacting with organizations and members of the public, and for exiting the takeover.

Related tags South africa

The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa said it welcomes the announcement by the South African firm, Brimstone Investment Corporation, to fully exit the Israeli take-over of South Africa’s largest dairy company, Clover Industries.

Brimstone said it has entered into an agreement “to facilitate [its] exit from its participation in the Clover Transaction. As a result, Brimstone will not be participating in the Clover Transaction…”

On March 22, 2019 Brimstone had announced it was “reviewing” its participation. The exit from the Israeli take-over of Clover comes following opposition from South African civil society organizations, trade unions and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Israel’s Central Bottling Company (CBC), together with several smaller partners intend to take-over Clover for R4.8bn ($345m). The deal was announced in February.​ If it proceeds, Israel’s CBC will take control of 59.5% of the South African milk and dairy company.

The deal is being pursued by Milco SA Proprietary Limited, which plans to delist the company from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Approximately 78.7% of the shares will be held by Milco Mauritius International Limited, a Mauritian holding company, the Milco shareholding of which will, in turn, be effectively held c.59.5% by International Beer Breweries Limited (IBBL), c.8.3% by IncuBev Limited and c.10.9% by Ploughshare Investments Limited;; and c.6.3% by the executive management of Clover.

Brimstone would have held 15% of the shares.

IBBL​ is a directly-owned subsidiary of the CBC​ Group, a privately-owned international food and beverage group whose subsidiary companies serve more than 160m consumers worldwide.  CBC is Israel's leading manufacturer and distributor of beverages, and, through its foreign subsidiaries, has manufacturing and distribution operations in Turkey, Romania, and Uzbekistan.

Opposition continues

BDS South Africa said it commends the leadership of Brimstone for having interacted with organizations and members of the public, and for following through with its exit from the takeover.

In spite of the withdrawal, BDS South Africa says if the Israeli take-over proceeds, it will actively support or initiate the call for direct action and a militant but peaceful campaign, including protests and disruptions against Clover and a boycott of all its products.

It said it would work with other groups opposed to the deal, including COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions), FAWU (Food and Allied Workers Union), Popcru (Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union), the ANC Youth League, several Palestine solidarity organizations and others.

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