Nampak Gains as New CEO Appointed From Sasol: Johannesburg Mover

Nampak Ltd., a South African packaging company, advanced the most in more than three months after naming Andre de Ruyter as its new chief executive officer designate from January 2014.

The stock rose as much as 5.5 percent, the biggest intraday gain since June 28, and traded 2.7 percent higher at 31.89 rand at 1:36 p.m. in Johannesburg. About 680,000 shares traded, or 54 percent of the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

De Ruyter will take over as CEO from Andrew Marshall when he retires at the end of March, Johannesburg-based Nampak said in a statement today. The future CEO will join the company from South African oil producer Sasol Ltd., where he is senior group executive for global chemicals and North American operations. He will leave Sasol on Nov. 30, the company said prior to the Nampak statement.

“There is now certainty for investors” four months after the company said Marshall would leave, Brent Madel, an analyst at Cape Town-based BPI Capital Africa Pty Ltd., said in a phone interview.

Nampak shares fell the most in three years on May 28, when the company announced Marshall’s retirement alongside a 20 percent decline in operating profit in South Africa, its biggest market. Revenue from the rest of Africa accounted for 13 percent of sales for the six months through March.

The CEO nomination is an “important decision as the group’s strategy, both in South Africa and the rest of Africa, may come under scrutiny,” Madel said in an e-mailed note to clients. “With a different perspective, Nampak’s expansion strategy could very well evolve positively going forward.”

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