A new agribusiness powerhouse is heading for listing on the JSE after proposals by Western Cape-based Overberg Agri and Acorn Agri to merge. Despite drought in the Western Cape raising questions about agricultural prospects, a circular was sent to shareholders in Caledon-based Overberg Agri last week detailing plans to "amalgamate" with Somerset West-based Acorn to form a "leading national agriculture and food investment company". The new entity will be a hybrid agribusiness with Acorn — which has African Rainbow Capital and Sanlam as backers — largely an investment company and Overberg predominantly an operating company. In a letter to shareholders Overberg chairman Douw de Kock said the new business could be listed on the JSE in the near future. He said the proposed merger was crucial for the sustainability of Overberg’s agricultural business and the need to maintain competitive service levels. De Kock also said the proposed merger would drive growth by creating synergy between th...

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