Home » South African billionaire Christo Wiese’s Brait to dissolve portfolio in three years

South African billionaire Christo Wiese’s Brait to dissolve portfolio in three years

"There’s a journey to realise value from the three assets that remain," says CEO Peter Hayward-Butt

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi
Christo Wiese

Key Points:

  • Brait, the South African investment holding company backed by billionaire Christo Wiese, plans to sell its current portfolio within 18 months to three years and return funds to investors.
  • The company has already sold its stake in Iceland Foods.
  • Major assets include food maker Premier, UK apparel chain New Look, and Virgin Active gyms.

Brait, the South African investment holding company backed by billionaire Christo Wiese, plans to sell its entire portfolio within the next 18 months to three years. The company, which owns food maker Premier, UK apparel chain New Look, and Virgin Active gyms, aims to return money to investors as part of this strategy.

The company is working on a recapitalization plan and has extended its debt by three years. It has already sold its stake in Iceland Foods.

Brait’s current status and future Plans

Brait CEO Peter Hayward-Butt mentioned that the company is in the process of finalising a recapitalization plan. Brait has also extended its debt by three years, giving it a more flexible timeline to sell its remaining assets. The company has already sold its holding in Iceland Foods.

Following the recapitalization, Brait will focus on selling its remaining assets.

“There’s a journey to realise value from the three assets that remain,” said Hayward-Butt. “Hopefully that can be done in a short order.”

The plan to sell all assets was initially announced in late 2019, during a company overhaul. However, the sale of Virgin Active, which comprises 67 percent of Brait’s total assets, was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite this setback, Premier has shown resilience, resuming trading in Johannesburg last year after a 17-year hiatus and reporting a 26 percent rise in annual operating profit earlier this month. Hayward-Butt believes Premier can be exited relatively quickly.

New Look, another significant asset, may take up to 18 months to sell. “We just need to see the green shoots of recovery from the UK fashion retail space,” explained Hayward-Butt.

Future of Virgin Active

Virgin Active has shown recovery but is yet to return to its pre-pandemic membership levels. This milestone is crucial before the company can be monetised. “This may be the last of the three units to be sold,” noted Hayward-Butt.

While the debt extension from December 2024 provides a three-year window for these sales, Hayward-Butt emphasized there’s no compunction to wait for the full duration.

You may also like

logo

The world’s premier source of news on Africa’s billionaires and UHNWIs.

Newsletter

Get the daily email to stay informed about African billionaires and UHNWIs. Get informed and entertained, for free.

Latest News

@2024 – Billionaires.Africa. All Rights Reserved.