Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Six years after telling the Competition Tribunal it regarded glass manufacturing as one of its core businesses and wanted to expand it, Nampak has told shareholders it is selling its glass division. As the competition authorities are unlikely to agree to a deal with the most obvious buyer, Consol, analysts say the business could end up back in foreign hands. In November 2011, Nampak spent R938m to acquire the 50% of its glass business it did not own from joint venture partner, German-based Wiegand-Glas. At the time Nampak CEO Andrew Marshall said the acquisition was part of a strategy of "investing in our core businesses where we believe we have competitive advantages". It was planning to invest up to R4bn over the following five or six years in building new glass furnaces in SA and elsewhere on the African continent. In a trading update released on SENS, the Nampak board informed shareholders it had decided to sell the business. "To ensure the long-term profitability of glass and t...

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