Spin-offs don’t always spark the imagination of investors. I’m thinking of the market’s dull response to recent spin-offs such as Sandown Capital (Peregrine), Novus (Naspers), Ayo Technology Solutions and Premier Fishing & Brands (African Equity Empowerment Investments), and Sea Harvest (Brimstone). Even Stadio, the tertiary education spin-off of private schools business Curro, has been marked down. History shows, though, that spin-offs tend to surprise on the upside over the longer term. Just look at Astral Foods, which the market initially had no appetite for when it was spun out by Tiger Brands. Alternative energy group Montauk also enjoyed an inauspicious market debut when it was pushed out by investment giant Hosken Consolidated Investments in 2015, but it now trades at more than 25 times its low-point price. MiX Telematics was put through the ringer when it was unbundled from Control Instruments in 2007. I seem to remember its share price dribbling down to 25c and spending a f...

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