Johannesburg - South Africa's Bid Corporation (Bidcorp) can tap as much as $1.2 billion for acquisitions, its finance chief said on Thursday, as the firm reported a 20.6 percent rise in half-year profit.
Bidcorp, a food-service group that was spun out of Bidvest last year, usually buys small firms it can bolt on to its portfolio, which includes businesses in Europe, Britain and Australasia.
"We would be comfortable with two times debt to EBITDA (core earnings) on a conservative basis, so that's probably taking us to 14 to 15 billion rand ($1.2 billion) or a billion pounds," CFO David Cleasby said in a conference call when asked how much the firm can access to buy other firms.
Chief Executive Bernard Berson added that the most likely targets would be family-owned firms or food-service groups held by private equity firms.
"Food service is a highly fragmented market," said Berson.