GNDE - Grindrod trade may be empowerment deal

10/11/2003 12:15:53

Grindrod trade may be empowerment deal
November 10, 2003

By Samantha Enslin

Durban - More than 20 percent of Grindrod's issued shares changed hands in two minutes on the JSE Securities Exchange on Friday, pointing to the successful completion of negotiations referred to in a cautionary from the shipping and logistics group which was renewed last week.

Previously it had been suggested that the talks were with an empowerment partner.

On Friday Laurence Stuart-Hill, the director for new business at Grindrod, said he was unable to comment.

In July Ivan Clark, chief executive of Grindrod, said a deal with an empowerment partner could result in the sale of more than 20 percent of the group's equity.

However, one analyst said:

"I would be surprised if an empowerment transaction would be done as a straight equity deal unless it was a very wealthy empowerment partner."

Between 3.14pm and 3.16pm on Friday more than 8.9 million shares, or 21.5 percent of the company's equity, traded at R11.40 a share. By the market's close the stock had risen R1.05 to close at a new annual high of R11.45 and more than 9 million shares had traded.

Last week Grindrod renewed a cautionary first issued in September, advising shareholders that it was in negotiations which, if successful, could have a material impact on the share price.

Grindrod's share price has risen 36 percent since the cautionary was first issued.

A possible partner for Grindrod is the J&J Group. The two have already partnered in a warehousing and logistics joint venture, Grindrod J&J Logistics.

Grindrod recently bought out the interests of London-listed P&O Group in Kusasa Bulk Terminals and P&O Grindrod Logistics. Grindrod and the J&J Group each hold a 45 percent stake in Kusasa and a 50 percent stake in Grindrod J&J Logistics.

Grindrod also has a relationship with empowerment firm Dudula Shipping, in a venture called Southern Tankers.

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