Another Covid-19 vaccine trial starts in SA; Tiger Brands; Foschini; Sasol results

By Jackie Cameron

  • Novavax says its Covid-19 vaccine could begin the final stage of testing by September. This would be the second Covid-19 vaccine trial underway in SA. Dr Shabir Madhi, a vaccinology professor at University of the Witwatersrand, who will lead the study, shared the details of Novavax’s Phase 2 study with BizNews founder Alec Hogg. Dr Madhi says South Africans will have early access to the vaccine if it proves effective. Wits is also collaborating with the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute on another Covid-19 vaccine being tested worldwide. And, a third vaccine might be put into trials in South Africa later this year, says Dr Madhi. For more, you can hear the full interview on BizNews Radio and read the transcripts and reporting from the Wall Street Journal on the testing of Novavax in SA.
  • Tiger Brands, facing legal action in connection with listeriosis contamination of food that led to 200 deaths, is selling assets. The South African food producer will sell its processed meats business through two separate deals for a combined R428m, reports Reuters.  The disposal of the business, which was closed temporarily in 2018 after the world’s biggest listeriosis outbreak, is part of a strategic review initiated before that outbreak, said the company.
  • Foschini is buying stores from Edcon and is optimistic the deal will go through. It said on Monday it has concluded an agreement to buy select assets of budget clothes retailer Jet from the administrators of rival Edcon and expects to meet all conditions by the end of September, reports Reuters. It said in July it will buy 371 stores and some assets of Jet for R480m in order to expand into the budget clothes market. It said it has now reached an agreement for the assets in South Africa, where most of the stores it is buying are located. Similar agreements for stores in Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and the kingdom of eSwatini are expected to be finalised shortly, it said. “The remaining conditions include approval by competition authorities, an agreement with Jet’s landlords on amended lease terms and a deal with credit and financial services provider RCS to continue to operate Jet’s credit book.” Edcon, owner of department store chain Edgars, applied for bankruptcy protection in April.
  • Sasol has released annual financial results and says it is planning a rights issue for later next year. Its share ended about 5% lower on Monday. For full details, see its results on BizNews.com.
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