Trade Tatler
“I don't think our fiduciary duty is to put shareholders first. I say the opposite. What we firmly believe is that if we focus our company on improving the lives of the world’s citizens and come up with genuine sustainable solutions, we are more in synch with consumers and society and ultimately this will result in good shareholder returns.”
Paul Polman


THIS ISSUE:     22 Dec - 12 Jan

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Steinhoff  Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated….

At the tail end of a year we were very happy to kick in the pants and see the back of, reports of the impending death of disgraced retail group Steinhoff was all over the place. Not so fast there, Sonny Jim. Turns out that Steinhoff’s status needs to be upgraded from “disgraced” to merely “troubled”, on the news that it has managed to secure an £180m loan facility through its subsidiary Pepkor Europe, which will help it to bring stability to its retail brands. And UK subsidiary Poundland had a very good Christmas, growing sales 5.6% in the three months to December 24. On the downside, £180m is going to do the job, not properly. Steinhoff are looking to raise around $2.4bn to prop up the old balance sheet. And Pepkor Europe has expressed its intention to distance itself from the parent body until mom and dad figure out their lives.
Comment: Still, it was all enough to see Steinhoff’s share’s jump 32% on the JSE, so that will help.

IOL 05/01/18

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Pick n Pay  Little big store

Last year, you will recall, Pick n Pay piloted a spaza modernisation programme in Gauteng, partnering with spaza owners to upgrade their stores and better meet the needs of their customers and communities. Now they’re launching this endeavour in Cape Town, in partnership with the Old Mutual Foundation, Masisizane Fund, Brimstone, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the City of Cape Town. The first store opened was Nozinga’s Market, in Gugulethu last October; next up is the Ndwamba Market in Nyanga, where the expanded staff complement has received training in IT systems, customer service, hygiene and more traditional retailing skills like baking and butchery. Like the others in the programme, Ndwamba has been outfitted with new refrigeration and IT systems and it will stock more than 1,000 lines of non-edible and edible groceries, including fresh produce and perishables. It will also provide services like money transfer, ticketing, airtime and data, bill payments, lottery tickets and prepaid electricity to its shoppers.
Comment: An interesting model, though still in its infancy. We look forward to following its developments.

Tatler Reporter 18/12/17

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Premier Fishing  Stywe Lyne

With all the mergers and indeed acquisitions that go on in the fishing sector, you will forgive us for occasionally getting our lines tangled, if that’s something the piscatorial community does. So have we mentioned that Premier Fishing and Brands (their real name) has bought a controlling 52.51% stake in the Talhado Fishing Group? We honestly can’t remember. Anyway, Talhado is the biggest player in squid in these parts, adding nicely to Premier’s current catch of west coast rock lobster, pilchards, anchovies, hake and abalone. Premier CEO Samir Saban is of the view that the acquisition should start paying off pronto, and will also improve efficiencies within the existing operations and across the group. There’s no number on the deal, but Talhado turned over R300m and some change with profit after tax of R61m in the last FY.
Comment: Our waters still teem, and the local fishing industry is playing a long and strategic game in husbanding this resource.

IOL 21/12/17

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Nestlé  Sweet deals

Nestlé is unloading a couple of bits of its business globally as part of its efforts to reshape itself and focus on new trends and consumer healthcare. In the US, where for some reason they’re mad for the stuff, Nestlé has sold a couple of its iced tea brands – Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds – to a private equity outfit. The real shocker,however, is that they’re also selling their chocolate business in the US, perhaps to Hershey, which brings to market a range of products not entirely unrelated to the chocolate category. The sale could be worth up to $3bn – rich fare in a market where sales of chocolate are not what they once were, and where Hershey’s itself is diversifying into other snack categories.
Comment: The steady reinvention of Nestlé will turn out to have been one of this decade’s biggest stories, when the books at last are written.

Business Day 19/12/17, 21/12/17

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Things Generally  Let’s get Cyrious

The Cyril era is just about upon us (fingers crossed) and from what the man says, it’s going to be interesting. Here very briefly, are his main economic priorities.
Create a million jobs in five years: Through special economic zones, tax reforms and a youth internship programme, inter alia.
Growth and investment:  Targeting 3% of the former for the 2018 FY, and prioritising institutional stability and the credibility of the criminal-justice system to attract more of the latter.
Debt and spending: Enforcing fiscal discipline to ensure that state resources are spent on development rather than debt servicing.
Ownership of the economy: Ensure that black South Africans – particularly communities and workers – have greater ownership and control over the economy, through more effective and sustainable BEE.
Cost of doing business: Improve infrastructure, regulate energy prices and review port tariffs.
Education: Train and support teachers, make math and science compulsory through Grade 12.
State-owned enterprises: Govern, manage and operate these for the benefit of the public.
Political corruption: Clamp the hell down on that.

Comment: We’re going to hold you to it, boss.

IOL 19/12/17

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Distell  You Bisqui… oh, shut up.

So having bought larney cognac brand Bisquit from Pernod Ricard in 2009, Distell is now flogging it to Campari for the sort of price you usually only see on the whiskey pages of the annual Makro liquor broadsheet. Distell is getting rid of the brand in order to focus on other types of tipple, including brandy, which is nothing at all like cognac.

Business Day 20/12/17

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Blockchain  Reinventing the wheel

As you know, traceability is one of the key aspects of food safety. Good news, then, that Walmart,, IBM and Tsinghua University have formed a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance, which will kick off with a collaboration designed to enhance food tracking, traceability and safety in China. Blockchain is going to revolutionise the supply chain in much the same way that the wheel did, you read it here first folks.

BizCommunity 19/12/17

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