JOHANNESBURG – Packaging company Nampak says it has entered into an agreement to sell its glass business as a going concern to Isanti Glass 1 for an estimated R1.5 billion.

The glass business is one of two primary glass container manufacturers in South Africa servicing beverage and food manufacturers, with an estimated market share of 25 percent.

"The sale of the Nampak glass business is in line with Nampak’s ongoing strategy to sharpen our focus on strategic substrates," CEO André de Ruyter said in a statement dated Thursday.

"We continue to rationalise the portfolio to optimise and improve returns on capital and reinforce our strategic intent. Proceeds from this disposal will be primarily used to reduce both local and international interest bearing debt and strengthen the company’s financial position.”

The disposal is subject to the fulfilment of various suspensive conditions, including the approval of South African competition authorities. Nampak said it did not anticipate that the suspensive conditions would have been met before its September 30 year-end.

Nampak Glass operates 49 facilities worldwide and operates three furnaces which supply nine forming lines at its manufacturing facility in Roodekop, Gauteng. 

Isanti Glass 1 is 60 percent owned by Kwande Capital, a black owned and managed investment company established in 2010, while SABSA Holdings, the holding company of South African Breweries, has a 40 percent stake.

Nampak said it would continue to own and operate the glass business until the effective date of the sale.

- African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa