Brait Climbs as Virgin Active, New Look Deals Boost Value

  • New Look had strong trading, Virgin Active’s margins improved
  • Brait says Premier Group's Ebitda exceeds 1 billion rand

Brait SE shares rose as the investment company controlled by South African billionaire Christo Wiese said net asset value more than tripled after it bought majority stakes in health-club provider Virgin Active and U.K. clothing retailer New Look for a combined 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion).

Net asset value climbed to 123.50 rand ($8.67) a share in the six months through September from 34.75 rand a year earlier, the San Gwann, Malta-based company said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This has been a productive, return-focused period for Brait both in terms of acquisitions and divestitures within its investment portfolio and capital management,” the company said. “Brait is well placed for new deals to complement its well-positioned portfolio.”

New Look has had strong trading and Virgin Active’s margins improved, Brait said. Premier Group, the South African maker of Blue Ribbon bread and Snowflake flour, posted earnings before interest, taxes and other deductibles of more than 1 billion rand, the company said. This includes Premier’s purchase of Companhia Industrial da Matola, a food producer in Mozambique.

The stock climbed for a second day, adding 3.9 percent to 157.64 rand by the close in Johannesburg. That extended the shares’ gain this year to 102 percent. They are the best performers in the FTSE/JSE Top40 Index over the period.

While Brait has mostly been investing outside its traditional market of South Africa in 2015, the company is considering acquisitions in that country and Europe, Chief Executive Officer John Gnodde said earlier this year.

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