MINORITY shareholders in unlisted KWV Holdings will hope Friday’s shareholder meeting provides clarity on the Paarl-based liquor company’s intentions for the R1.1bn offered in the sale of its operating assets to Vivian Imerman’s Vasari.

Vasari will pay off the purchase price in equal instalments over 36 months. In the meantime, KWV will be left clutching its not insubstantial property holdings and some valuable art. KWV minorities, parched from years in the dividend wilderness, might hope the company commits to a special dividend or a series of special dividends.

But one significant minority shareholder, RECM & Calibre (RAC), thinks it is unlikely any cash will be distributed in a hurry. Speaking to shareholders this week, RAC CEO Piet Viljoen rated the chances of a cash disbursement at KWV as low and believed management would look to reinvest the money smartly. He noted that majority shareholder HCI had proved to be a smart allocator of capital.

Some shareholders may disagree in the instance of KWV — remembering the unconvincing tilts at the ready-to-drinks segment and a lack of action to diversify KWV away from its brandy and wine roots. Perhaps the most prudent option is for HCI or subsidiary Niveus to table a buy-out offer of scrip and cash to KWV minorities. Sooner rather than later.

Source: BDLive