File image: IOL.
File image: IOL.

KAP tumbles but heaves sigh of relief at Steinhoff's divestment

By banele.ginindza Time of article published Mar 28, 2019

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JOHANNESBURG –KAP Holdings tumbled nearly 10percent in early trade on the JSE yesterday after troubled retailer Steinhoff International announced that it would divest from the industries group.

Steinhoff announced on Tuesday that it had sold the remaining 26 percent of its KAP stake at a discounted R6.85 a share as they were oversubscribed.

The retailer said it managed to raise R4.8 billion to pay off debt and shore up its finances, sending its shares higher.

It said the placement was offered to institutional investors only and will result in the company no longer holding an interest in KAP.

KAP had been at pains to distance itself from Steinhoff and ended an agreement to share corporate-services including legal and investor relations as well as co-renting office space by March last year.

The sale sent KAP shares into a 9.4percent tailspin before clawing back losses to close 7.4 percent weaker at R7.

KAP said the transaction would, however, not affect its R8bn acquisition spree on new businesses.

Chief executive Gary Chaplin said KAP had not been encumbered by its association with Steinhoff, but that it was a relief that the retailer had exited the partnership.

“It is positive for shareholders,” Chaplin said. “There had been a degree of uncertainty as to what to do with the Steinhoff shareholding, but now that it is all out in the open, there is a sense of relief.”

Chaplin said KAP had set itself the current year to consolidate and extract value from about R7bn worth of acquisitions made in the last two years and would then pursue other acquisitions with an additional R8bn capacity it had.

“There will be no change in how we run the group, the strategy really existed and we will pursue it with or without Steinhoff,” he said.

KAP has no outstanding loans either to or from Steinhoff and is independently managed, controlled and funded, the company said.

Steinhoff bought a 21 percent stake in what was then called KAP International in 2005.

Market analyst Mark Hodgson said KAP would fare better now that it was free of the association with Steinhoff.

Hodgson said shareholders would, however, still expect directors to deliver on their mandate.

“This is certainly positive, a major shareholder is now completely separate from the group. There is no shareholder overhang, it makes the KAP shares more tradeable,” he said.


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