Mondi shares fell to R316.43 hours after it announced its plan to dump its dual listing structure for a primary listing in London. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG – Packaging and paper group Mondi fell 2.43 percent on the JSE yesterday to R316.43 hours after it announced its plan to dump its dual listing structure for a primary listing in London.

The group said it would move its primary stock to London but would retain a secondary listing on the JSE as part of a move to simplify its business.

It said the move was part of a process to simplify its cash and dividend flows that it has had since it was established in 1967 when former owners Anglo American built the Merebank mill in South Africa.

Chief executive Peter Oswald said the group had evolved to more than 100 sites in more than 30 countries with 90 percent of its underlying earnings now generated outside of South Africa.

Oswald said Mondi, however, remained fully committed to South Africa with local operations contributing to the group's industry-leading performance.

He said Mondi had delivered a strong track record of value accretive growth since listing and its evolution since 2007 meant it needed to consider the appropriate structure for the future. “The proposed simplification is a natural step to remove the complexities around our structure and make our corporate framework more efficient,” Oswald said.

Last year the group reorganised its portfolio into four global divisions – packaging paper, fibre packaging, consumer packaging and uncoated fine paper.

Before it was organised into the two regions of Europe and International as well as South Africa.

Mondi said its London-listed Mondi plc shareholders would acquire JSE-listed Mondi Limited on a one-to-one share basis, as part of the simplification process.

It said the streamlining of the corporate structure would facilitate continued investment in the South African operations, estimated at more than R8 billion over the next five years.

The group said these would include the ongoing investment in forestry assets and modernisation of the group's pulp, container board, and paper assets. “The simplification will also enhance strategic flexibility, increase transparency and remove the complexity associated with the current structure,” Mondi said.

“The simplification will not result in any changes to the management, operations, locations, activities or staffing levels of the Mondi Group.”

Mondi said it had received written approval from the National Treasury to simplify the existing group structure and operate under Mondi plc as a single holding company.

Mondi's South African market capitalisation is valued at R152.65bn.

Oswald said local operations remained important to the group with the proposed simplification facilitating the modernisation of the Richards Bay mill and ongoing capital expenditure in South Africa. “Our strategy of delivering value accretive growth focused around innovative and sustainable packaging and paper solutions remains unchanged.”