Bidvest to List Food Services on JSE in Group Split

Bidvest Group Ltd., South Africa’s second-biggest company by revenue, will list its food-services unit on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange at the end of next month as part of a split of the business.

Separating Bidvest Foodservice from the industrials unit will provide greater focus “and enable management to identify opportunities both locally and abroad,” the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company will transfer the food-services assets into a new business, called BidCorp, and then list that entity on the JSE on May 30. Investors will get one BidCorp share for each Bidvest share they own.

Bidvest, which has interests ranging from car dealerships to catering and pharmaceutical products, announced in February it will sell shares in its food-services business in Johannesburg, 15 months after abandoning a plan to list the unit in London. The company is also seeking to expand outside its home market, where the economy may grow at the slowest pace this year since the 2009 recession, according to government forecasts, amid falling commodity prices and the worst drought in more than a century.

Bidvest shares gained 2.3 percent to 365 rand at the close in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 122 billion rand. Investor demand will determine the market valuation of BidCorp, a spokesman for Bidvest said.

(Corrects headline and first paragraph in story published April 14 to remove reference to value of unit.)
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