Remgro plans R10bn share offering to fund buying out SABMiller in Distell.

By John Bowker

(Bloomberg) — Remgro Ltd. plans to raise more than 9.9 billion rand ($737 million) from shareholders as the company controlled by South African billionaire Johann Rupert considers deals including a right to buy SABMiller Plc’s stake in drinks maker Distell Group Ltd.

South African billionaire Johann Rupert

The investment group has first refusal on SABMiller’s 26 percent holding in the maker of Amarula liqueur and Klipdrift brandy, valued at about 9.6 billion rand. The brewer was told to sell the asset by antitrust authorities as a condition to winning South African approval for its takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV. Remgro already owns almost 53 percent of Distell.

No agreement regarding the deal has been reached and Remgro will only exercise its right on “commercially appropriate terms,” the Stellenbosch, South Africa-based company said in a statement after the market closed in Johannesburg on Tuesday. “Other strategic opportunities are also being explored by Remgro and its portfolio companies.”

South Africa’s Competition Tribunal ruled that the stake in Distell had to be sold as a condition to agreeing to the takeover by AB InBev, which would create the world’s largest brewer. The deal will be considered by SABMiller shareholders on Wednesday, with most voting by proxy supporting the $104 billion takeover offer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Rupert Companies

Remgro also owns stakes in consumer-goods companies including Unilever South Africa Ltd. and RCL Foods Ltd. It holds more than 40 percent of private-healthcare provider Mediclinic International Plc. Rupert’s net worth is about $6.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Remgro plans to raise the funds through a rights offer and the sale of B shares to Rupert Beleggings Ltd. Two Rupert family-related companies have undertaken to subscribe for 1.4 million rights issue shares and the remaining 46.7 million have been underwritten by FirstRand Ltd.’s Rand Merchant Bank unit.

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