A 25% surge in the share price in the past three months has delivered an unexpected windfall for Sasol’s empowerment scheme shareholders. Sasol Inzalo’s public shareholders will receive a R1.3bn payout — R85.63 a share — next Monday, the chemicals and synfuels producer announced. The return of an effective 19% per annum to the scheme’s participants came as a surprise to some because Inzalo had been under water in recent years. The scheme launched at R366 a share in 2008 with some R7bn in debt finance. There were five categories of participating shareholders, but the majority were the Sasol Inzalo public shareholders — black South Africans invited to buy shares at a discounted price of R18.30 or R36.60 a share. The scheme needed a Sasol share price of R462 to repay the debt, but since mid-2016 the price was often below R400 until it began to rise with the oil price in 2018. Avior Capital Markets analyst Wade Napier said that over the past 30 days Sasol’s average share price was R542,...

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