Since its beginnings as a single car dealership in downtown Johannesburg in 1948, diversified industrial group Imperial Holdings has grown turnover to a mighty R120bn a year. Now it has become an unwieldy conglomerate supplying logistics, vehicles and related financial services in 33 countries, despite both its Motus automotive division and Imperial Logistics division already being run by separate boards of directors and management teams. Like Barloworld, and much later Bidvest, Imperial has become more international, growing and shedding businesses, some of which were also spun off and listed on the JSE to unlock shareholder value. In the same vein, JSE-listed industrial transportation group Grindrod last week listed its shipping arm, now called Grindrod Shipping, on the Nasdaq, with a secondary listing in Johannesburg.In the case of Imperial, group CEO Osman Arbee says the Motus and Imperial Logistics divisions are now mature companies that are ready to split into separate brands....

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