Clover gets R4.8bn offer from Israel group

By John Bowker

(Bloomberg) – Clover Industries Ltd. received a buyout offer from a group of investors led by Israel’s Central Bottling Co., which has plans to expand the dairy business across sub-Saharan Africa and values the company at R4.8bn ($359m).

The group offered R25 a share for the Johannesburg-based producer, compared with a Friday closing price of R20, Clover said in a statement on Monday. The potential acquirer is 60% owned by CBC, with other investors including Brimstone Investment Corp., a South African investment firm.

The shares rose as much as 21% to a record R24.22, extending gains since Clover first said it was the target of takeover interest in October. The company has established an independent board to evaluate the offer, led by Steve Booysen, one of the executives working to revive scandal-hit retailer Steinhoff International Holdings NV.

“We are investing in a well-run company and are taking a long-term investment approach which reflects our confidence in the prospects for the local economy,” CBC Chief Executive Officer Aran Oelsner said in an emailed statement. “Combining Clover’s abilities with our global expertise will provide real opportunities to grow Clover’s dairy and beverage portfolios across sub-Saharan Africa.”