Omnia Holdings has bought back part of the shares in the second phase of a broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) employee ownership scheme that has benefited 65 staff members.

The chemicals group bought 38.9% of the issued ordinary shares of the scheme on July 31. It also exercised a call option in respect of participants who retired, were retrenched or had died from 2011 to end-July 2017.

"Omnia believes that significant management and emplo-yee ownership participation within the group is essential," group MD Adriaan de Lange said on Wednesday.

"It believes that the group’s success arises from the excellence and long-term dedication of its people who create customer wealth through leveraging their knowledge of customer requirements and solutions."

A separate legal entity, the Sakhile Initiative, was incorporated in 2007 to serve as a vehicle to implement a scheme for permanent staff. A second phase was launched during 2010 — Sakhile 2. This was used to attract, retain, develop and reward talented and key black permanent employees and black executives based in SA.

Sakhile 2 has about 140 active shareholders who have been issued with 52,218 Omnia ordinary shares. In January 2010, Sakhile 2 acquired 2% of the Omnia group in a first tranche. This had to be held by the shareholder for seven years from the date of allocation.

Omnia holds a call option to acquire the shares in Sakhile 2 any time after the allocation date until 18 months after January 2017. The exercise price is calculated in accordance with a formula based mainly on the market capitalisation of Omnia.

It is settled using new listed shares issued by Omnia and is based on the 30-day volume weighted average price of an Omnia share prior to the exercise date or the employee termination date of past staffers.

The total exercise value of the call option will be settled by the issue of 652,328 new Omnia shares with a current market value of R94m.


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