JOHANNESBURG – South African drug retailer Dis-Chem plans to list its shares on the Johannesburg stock market, it said on Monday, in a move that would allow founders to partially cash in on their investment and bring a rival to the sole pharmacy merchant on the bourse.
Founded by chief executive Ivan Saltzman and his wife Lynette, Dis-Chem has grown from a start-up in 1978 to a major health products retailer with annual sales of more than 15 billion rand ($1.08 billion).
However, its store network of about 100 is dwarfed by its closest competitor Clicks Group Ltd , which runs more than 700 outlets that bring in around 23 billion rand ($1.66 billion)in annual sales.
“Our decision to list on the JSE is an important next phase of Dis-Chem’s growth story,” Saltzman, a pharmacist, said in a statement.
“It also facilitates a partial exit whilst allowing existing shareholders and key management to remain materially invested ensuring strong alignment between management, existing and new shareholders.”
Dis-Chem did not give timelines or the size of the planned offer to selected institutional investors but said the share sale was subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals.
The company’s existing shareholders comprise the Saltzman Family Trust, holding 66.9 percent of the company, while management and an unspecified financial investor hold 23.4 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.
Goldman Sachs, Investec Ltd and Standard Bank have been appointed as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners.
Merrill Lynch has been appointed as joint bookrunner while Investec and Standard Bank have been appointed to act as joint transaction sponsors.
($1 = 13.8542 rand)
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng, editing by Louise Heavens)