Jannie Durand. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Jannie Durand. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Investment conglomerate Remgro has agreed to exchange its minority shareholding in Unilever SA for Unilever’s Spreads business in Southern Africa and R4.9bn in cash.

The companies said in a joint statement on Friday that Unilever had agreed to purchase Remgro’s 25.75% stake for R7bn, for a total transaction representing R11.9bn, or a 13.4 multiple of 2016’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda).

Remgro CEO Jannie Durand said in the statement the Unilever Spreads business, which included brands such as Rama, Stork, Flora and Ronda, had good growth prospects in the Southern Africa region.

"This transaction is a vote of confidence in the future of SA, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland," he said.

Luc-Olivier Marquet, executive vice-president of Unilever SA said full ownership of the Unilever SA business meant the company was better placed to accelerate growth.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

At 4.11pm Remgro’s share price was up 0.43% to R211.45, slightly higher than earlier levels. The company has lost 5.2% so far in 2017.

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