Wednesday 21 February 2018

Remaining €54m BWG stake to be sold by 2022

BWG chief executive Leo Crawford.
BWG chief executive Leo Crawford.
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The former majority shareholders of BWG Group, which controls the Spar franchise in Ireland, have seen their remaining 20pc stake in the business valued at about €54m.

The shareholders - including BWG chief executive Leo Crawford - sold an 80pc stake in the business to Spar South Africa in 2014 for €55m, helping BWG to cut its borrowings.

The new partnership between the two companies saw them commit €100m to investing in BWG's wholesale and retail expansion over a five-year period.

Publicly-quoted Spar South Africa released full-year results yesterday that showed profits after tax at BWG Group rose 73pc in euro terms to €21.3m in the year to the end of September.

BWG's revenue was 14.5pc higher at €1.4bn. Excluding the Londis business here, which BWG acquired last year for €23m, turnover was 4.8pc higher.

BWG's business also includes the Appleby Westward Spar business in England, as well as the Gillett's Spar chain there, which it acquired in July for €19.3m. Gillett's has 63 Spar stores.

Spar South Africa said that the Irish economy remained robust and that BWG is "well positioned" to extend its strong performance.

Mr Crawford said that BWG's performance in the last financial year came against the backdrop of a competitive trading environment.

BWG had 1,340 outlets at the end of September across its markets.

Spar South Africa, which also owns 60pc of Spar Switzerland, said that it has agreed to acquire the remaining 20pc of BWG at dates between 2019 and 2022.

Spar South Africa's chief executive is Graham O'Connor. He is currently the president of Spar International.

Spar South Africa reported group turnover of 90.7bn Rand (€5.9bn) in the year to the end of September, and an operating profit of 2.57bn Rand (€168.1m).

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