Luxembourg-based Ardagh acquires OMPE’s stake in glass packaging company Consol Holdings

SOUTH AFRICA – Old Mutual Private Equity (OMPE), a division of Old Mutual Alternative Investments, has sold its stake in Consol Holdings to Luxembourg-based Ardagh Group, one of the largest glass producers in the world, for an equity value of approximately R10 billion (US$616.21m) and enterprise value of approximately R17 billion (US$1.05bn).

All conditions precedent have now been met and the deal closed at the end of April 2022.

Consol is the leading producer of glass packaging on the African continent and currently operates seven glass production facilities, boasting in excess of 15 furnaces.

It serves a range of leading international, regional, and domestic customers, principally in the beer, wine, spirits, food, and non-alcoholic beverage sectors.

This is a landmark transaction for the South African Private Equity industry, said Jacci Myburgh, Co-Head at OMPE.

“A deal of this magnitude with such a significant global player, represents a landmark transaction for South African Private Equity and South Africa as a whole. Consol is a high quality and important business in the context of South African manufacturing, and we are confident of its future under the stewardship of Ardagh,” he added.

OMPE has been an active shareholder in Consol since 2007, when it delisted the business as part of a Private Equity consortium including Brait, Sanlam and management.

Since then, Consol has grown significantly over our investment tenure; glass production capacity almost doubled from approximately 600 kt to circa 1,150 kt, and now employs almost 3,000 valued staff members.

At the time of OMPE’s investment, the business was purely South African based. Today, through considered investment and responsible but growth-oriented stewardship, Consol has expanded its operations to Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia.

“We have been privileged to play a key role, alongside management and co-shareholders in the business’s overall growth, not only in terms of geographic expansion across the African continent but also through investing in new greenfield capacity totalling more than R4.5 billion (US$277.29m),” Farhad Khan, Investment Partner at Old Mutual Private Equity, said.

“As a firm, we are proud and privileged to have achieved such exciting growth and a good exit for our investors, whilst working alongside a world-class management team and like-minded shareholder partners.”

Khan said this deal represents a strong exit for their investors in one of the largest Private Equity exits the country has seen, signalling foreign interest in high quality South African businesses.

Khan said that Consol is a Pan African industrial success story, having grown from a successful South African manufacturer into three other high growth regions on the continent.

“Glass is a growth industry, given its properties and sustainability credentials, and Africa is a growing continent – we believe that Consol is well positioned for the future. We wish Ardagh and Consol management well in the next chapter of this almost 80-year-old business.”

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