Castledex – Tidy Files Merger

Spirit Capital is pleased to announce the acquisition by its subsidiary, Tidy Files (SA) (Pty) Ltd of an additional 50% interest in Castledex Business Systems (Pty) Ltd.

The transaction, concluded by means of a share swap, achieves the goal of retaining the invaluable skills and experience within Castledex whilst enabling further co-operation between the two businesses, specifically involving the expansion of Castledex’s offsite and electronic filing services across Tidy File’s countrywide branch network.

The benefits of combining the two businesses are immediately visible and we look forward to further enhanced results.



TMG offloads Van Schaik, Exclusive Books

Times Media Group (TMG) had sold its stake in Exclusive Books and Van Schaik Bookstores to a consortium led by Medu Capital for R435 million in cash, the listed media group said yesterday.

The Medu Capital consortium will pay R325m for the Van Schaik assets and R90m for Exclusive Books. The balance of R20m is for various payments to TMG based on certain conditions.

Sandton-based Medu Capital is a specialised private equity company managing funds of about R1.5 billion.

The consortium will buy the whole of the business, assets and liabilities, of Van Schaik and 69.98 percent of the shares and 100 percent of the claims in Bookmark at UP, the official bookstore of the University of Pretoria. In addition, the consortium will buy 70 percent of the shares and 100 percent of the claims in Van Schaik Nambia.

The consortium will also take ownership of 100 percent of the business, assets and liabilities of Exclusive Books, as well as 40 percent of the shares and 100 percent of the claims in Airport Bookshop.

Vicki Myburgh, entertainment and media industries leader for PwC Southern Africa, yesterday forecast that consumer and educational books would be the slowest growing segment in the local media and entertainment industry between 2013 and 2017, gaining 0.4 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years.

“Comparatively low literacy levels in the country and the fact that books don’t cater for [the] multiple languages in use in South Africa, continue to act as a barrier to further growth in this segment,” she said.

Books were also subject to higher value-added tax, at 14 percent, than most other countries, which meant retail prices were high for the majority of people, she added.

Van Schaik is a leading supplier of academic and reference books in South Africa and Namibia. Exclusive Books is one of the country’s largest book chains with branches throughout the country.

TMG said Van Schaik and Exclusive Books were identified as non-core, as they were not aligned to the strategic direction of TMG.

The effective date of the transaction was the first business day of the month following the month in which the sale agreements became unconditional, the firm said. The proceeds would be used to reduce the group’s gearing and some money would be set aside for potential future acquisitions aligned to the company’s core business.

Ernest January, a director of Medu Capital, said the consortium comprised Medu Captial, representing its private equity funds under management and its investors.

He said Medu Capital would play a strategic role in the businesses of Exclusive Books and Van Schaik.

“The businesses have got experienced management teams with track records of success and Medu Capital seeks to compliment the growth strategies of the businesses.

“With the announcement by the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, of the establishment of two new universities and the huge growth opportunities by Further Education and Training colleges, Medu Capital sees good growth prospects for Van Schaik Bookstores.

“Exclusive Books has a great brand and loyal customer base, which will serve as a platform for growth into the future,” January said.

Last month, TMG announced plans to sell INet Bridge to McGregor BFA in a R115m transaction and in June sold its 51 percent stake in MAP Integration Technologies to TomTom Africa for R37.5m.

This week TMG announced the acquisition of a 32.36 percent stake in Multimedia Group, the largest independent media company in Ghana, for R144m.

The sale agreements with Medu Capital are subject to the fulfilment of several suspensive conditions, including the completion of a due diligence by the buyer, the unconditional approval by the competition authorities, written consent by the parties to certain material contracts to assign these contracts to the purchaser.

The landlords of certain premises belonging to the businesses of Van Schaik and Exclusive Books also consent to the assignment of the lease agreements to the purchaser.

TMG gained 2 percent to close at R20.40 yesterday.

By Asha Speckman – Business Report


Office Active Conference

The dates for the Office Active Conference have been confirmed and we are looking forward to spending that time with you.
The Conference will take place on the 16th & 17th October 2013 at the Royal Elephant in Centurion, Gauteng.

The conference is the ultimate time for Suppliers to meet with Office Active Members from around the country in one convenient location.


Kindly note, there are only 34 supplier spaces available. No exceptions will be made! Bookings will only be held in reserve once payment has been made.

Good Bye

Destiny Distributors and Lamarje Office & Print Solutions, both Office Club members have resigned from the group with immediate effect.

Bidvest’s normalised headline earnings per share up


Bidvest results for the half-year to December 31, 2012, reflect an 18,2% rise in normalised headline earnings per share to 725,1 cents while normalised basic earnings per share are 24,5% higher at 724,4 cents. Normalised headline earnings exclude the abnormal profit of R399,1 million on the partial sale of the investment in Mumbai International Airport Private Limited in the comparative period.




§  Normalised headline earnings per share (HEPS) up 18,2% to 725,1 cents

§  Normalised earnings per share (EPS) rise 24,5% to 724,4 cents

§  Final gross cash dividend of 324,0 cents

§  Revenue up 11,9% to R75,4 billion (2011: R67,3 billion)

§  Trading profit 8,3% higher at R3,6 billion

§  Cash generation before working capital up 11,0% at R4,4 billion

§  Bidvest SA increases trading profit 12,8% to R2,0 billion

§  Bidvest Foodservice grows revenue by 16,6% to R40,8 billion

§  Further growth to be pursued in Latin America




Bidvest Chief Executive Brian Joffe reported reasonable trading results for the half-year to December 31, 2012 despite challenging trading conditions in many geographies. He commended management for their focus and commitment.


Normalised HEPS rose 18,2% to 725,1 cents. Normalised EPS rose 24,5% to 724,4 cents. HEPS declined 2,3% to 725,1 cents while basic EPS rose 1,9% to 724,4 cents.


Joffe noted, “In South Africa, lower demand in many industries combined with a customer drive for cheaper cost of services is driving increased competition, some of which is at sub-economic rates. Despite low inflation, cost pressures, particularly those of administered prices, are mounting. Labour unrest in the mining and transport sectors negatively impacted many operations.


“However, overall trading performance in South Africa was good, with excellent results from a number of divisions. Demand in the construction industry and discretionary consumer spending remained weak.”


He said Asia Pacific continues to deliver solid results, but the performance of Angliss Singapore lags those of other businesses. Bidvest Europe’s results reflect resilient performances from most operations other than Deli XL Netherlands, which recorded a small loss. Bidvest Namibia’s trading profit fell by 20,7%, primarily due to a drop in fishing profits after a 25% quota allocation reduction.


Bidvest derived 27% of trading profit from businesses outside Africa. On translation, currency fluctuations impacted Rand results.


Financial performance


Revenue grew 11,9% to R75,4 billion (2011: R67,3 billion). The major growth occurred in Bidvest Europe (R3,3 billion) and Bidvest Asia Pacific (R2,5 billion), which reflects organic and acquisitive growth.


Gross margin dipped slightly, largely due to mix and acquisitions. Some businesses experienced margin pressure. Operating expenses – up 12,7% – were well controlled but influenced by currency effects and the impact of acquisitions.


Trading margin dipped to 4,7% (2011: 4,9%) on higher contributions by lower margin activities and a decline in certain operations.


The group grew trading profit by 8,3% to R3,6 billion (2011: R3,3 billion). Share-based payment costs increased from R41,8 million to R59,6 million following the issue of share options to staff in November 2011.


Associate earnings rose on the normalisation of returns from some Group investments, buoyed by the first-time contribution from Mvelaserve Limited.


Net finance charges fell by R15,6 million to R352,9 million. Net debt increased to R6,2 billion (2011: R5,6 billion).


Joffe noted, “Our financial position remains strong and the group is well-capitalised. Bidvest’s attitude to gearing remains conservative and the group retains adequate borrowing capacity.”


Cash generated by operations before working capital changes rose 11,0% to R4,4 billion (2011: R4,0 billion). The Group utilised working capital of R2,5 billion compared to R1,6 billion in the comparative period, reflecting growth and currency impacts. Inventories were well controlled.




In November 2012, Bidvest announced its intention to make an offer for the shares in Amalgamated Appliance Holdings Limited that it doesn’t already own. Further details of the offer will be provided in a scheme circular. A number of smaller acquisitions were made.




Fitch Ratings upgraded the Group’s national long-term rating to ‘AA(zaf)’ from ‘AA-(zaf)’ following South Africa’s sovereign downgrade. Moody’s continue to rate the Group at with a stable outlook.




Joffe said global economic environments remain volatile and challenging while growth rates remain subdued. Despite environmental factors, management remain focused on delivering stakeholder value.


He added, “We remain true to our decentralised and entrepreneurial business model and significant effort has been directed to ensure the Bidvest culture is reinforced.”


In South Africa, trading conditions are anticipated to remain lacklustre. Divisional teams are focused on organic growth while seeking acquisitive opportunities. Further progress is anticipated in developing the Africa strategy in products-related businesses.


In Europe, further opportunities to add new product ranges and expand local footprints via organic and acquisitive growth remain a focus area. In Asia Pacific, management will pursue innovative, value-adding solutions to enable continued growth in Bidvest’s wholesale model. In developing markets, consolidation opportunities will be aggressively pursued. Management are confident of further organic and acquisitive growth.


Joffe noted, “Management focus remains on maintaining and improving customer service and ongoing cost control … Effort is being directed at operations where performance is below expectations.


“The group has ample capacity to fund growth opportunities. We continue to see organic growth opportunities, which – combined with the acquisitive expansion of our footprint and service offering – bodes well for the group going forward.”




Bidvest declared a final gross cash dividend of 324,0 cents (275,4 cents net of dividend withholding tax, where applicable) per ordinary share for the six months ended December 31 2012.




Bidvest South Africa


The businesses achieved revenue and earnings growth in challenging conditions. Revenue rose 6,0% to R34,1 billion (2011: R32,2 billion). Trading profits increased by 12,8% to R2,0 billion with impressive contributions by Bidvest Automotive (34,9%), Bidvest Services (28,5%) and Bidvest Travel and Aviation (27,1%).



Bidvest Office achieved modest revenue improvements – up 2,9% to R2,2 billion (2011: R2,1 billion) while trading profit dropped 7,4% to R130,7 million (2011: R141,2 million). Expenses were well controlled. Operational performance was mixed. The stationery group recovered following a well executed back-to-school strategy. Technology group results were acceptable, but were impacted by delays in major contract awards at Konica Minolta and Océ. Results at GPT were good in a challenging market. Losses within the furniture business were stemmed. Demand rose significantly at Dauphin and Cecil Nurse. Furniture manufacturing orders are well up.


Bidvest Paperplus had a challenging half-year but grew revenue 2,1% to R2,0 billion (2011: R1,9 billion) on the back of increased sales of packaging products, office supplies and marketing print. Trading profit fell 5,8% to R175,4 million (2011: R186,2 million), impacted by lower export project work, lower than expected wholesale stationery volumes and lower than projected SoluXions product sales. Overall expenses were well controlled. Sales by the Printing and Conversion business rose on a good performance by Silveray Mobeni. Labelling and Packaging achieved good growth, but at lower margins. Revenue was down at the Wholesale Stationery Division. Volumes at Personalisation and Mailing were under pressure with Lithotech Afric Mail experiencing a short-term volume decline. Email Connection benefited from additional contract work and new product offerings, delivering an excellent performance.


Bidvest Services grew revenue by 3,2% to R1,6 billion (2011: R1,5 billion) while trading profit moved 28,5% higher to R121,2 million (2011: R94,3 million). Operating expenditure was well managed and ROFE improved significantly. The Prestige office cleaning business achieved excellent new business growth, but performance was impacted by some contract losses. Magnum’s results were disappointing as additional labour costs impacted guarding while the technology businesses failed to maintain sales momentum. TMS continued its recovery with certain divisions excelling. Top Turf optimised opportunities flowing from increased contract revenue inSouth Africa andMauritius.



Asia Pacific


Bidvest Australia had a good start to the year with sales up 13,1% in local currency. Expenses were well controlled in the face of rising electricity costs and branch relocation expenses. Foodservice division put in another good performance, despite margin pressure. Hospitality had a poor six months. A restructure is under way to align the business more closely with the Foodservice branch network. Fresh did well on the back of a major contract success. National expansion is being pursued. Logistics also performed at better levels, though volumes remain lacklustre. Bidvest New Zealand put in another good performance with the Foodservice, Fresh, Logistics and Butchery divisions all up on prior year. Angliss Singapore made continued progress with the strategic move from commodities-based trading to direct sales to end-customers. Sales volumes are lower, but higher margins and more acceptable and sustainable profits are anticipated. Angliss Greater China achieved continued strong growth. Hong Kong and Macau benefited from a late surge in sales. Further expansion of the branch footprint in mainland China is under way.


Latin America


Deli Meals in Chile, acquired in November 2011, continues to grow. The business has doubled sales since acquisition and an import programme has been set up. We continue to actively pursue further growth in Latin America.




3663 Wholesale in the UK put in a strong sales performance, with free-trade volumes significantly higher. Severe margin pressures in the overall market remain. The business continued to invest to ensure its infrastructure delivers the required efficiencies. Sales at Bidvest Logistics were above budget and a record number of cartons of product were transported.Bidvest Fresh UK (incorporating Seafood Holdings and the newly acquired Oliver Kay fresh produce business) performed very well. Overall, the London Olympics had a minimal impact on UK businesses. Deli XL Netherlands had a difficult first half, generating a small trading loss in a shrinking market. Deli XL Belgium grew sales, assisted by the first contribution of a newly acquired horeca wholesaler. The Belgian institutional market is under the same pressure as the Dutch. Bidvest Czech Republic & Slovakia grew revenue and profit despite a tough retail market. Expansion into speciality meat products continues to gain momentum. In Slovakia, retail sales were boosted by the Frost acquisition in 2011 and growing ice-cream volumes.Bidvest Baltics saw continued foodservice gains, but retail volumes and other sales declined, according to plan. Farutex Poland grew sales in a declining economy, but trading profit was below expectation. Horeca Dubai achieved continued sales gains and has opened a distribution centre in Abu Dhabi. The Al Diyafa joint-venture in Saudi Arabia performed very strongly.


Southern Africa


Bidvest Food Southern Africa achieved solid sales growth on the back of good volumes at the ingredients business. Margins were under pressure at all companies. Expense savings were achieved thanks to Bidvest Foodservice (BFS) multi-temp mergers, the integration of NCP Yeast into Bidvest Bakery Solutions and rationalisation at Patleys.


National accounts were under pressure at BFS. Investment continued in the BFS multi-temp fleet and facilities. TheA&SCapebusiness was integrated into the multi-temp airport facility while the Caternet business was integrated into Lou’s wholesale facilities. InDurban, the Chipkins Catering Supplies business was merged into the BFS Durban multi-temp facility.


CFG gained market share in the supermarket and independent account channel. The NCP Durban plant rationalisation began in October 2012 with the merging of the industrial and consumer businesses into Bidvest Bakery Supplies and Patleys respectively. The world class Innovation, Design and Technology Centre was launched at Crown in Cape Town. The So Good Foods wet plant was commissioned to enhance production capabilities. Patleys returned to profit following restructuring.


Bidvest Namibia


Though results were down on the prior period, overall performance exceeded expectation. Revenue rose 34,0% to NAD1,7 billion (2011: NAD1,3 billion) while trading profit fell 20,7% to NAD249,3 million (2011: NAD314,4 million). Fishing division results were impacted by a 25% reduction in quota allocation, lower catch efficiencies, high quota purchase costs and a weak performance at Pesca Fresca in Angola. Fleet efficiencies were undermined by foreign operator pressure. Overall results at Commercial and Industrial Services were below expectation. The freight, logistics, marine services and material handling businesses were impacted by a decline in port activities. Results in the Food and Distribution Services division were disappointing.


Bidvest Corporate


Bidvest Properties acquired new premises for Voltex in Alrode and a new site was earmarked for Seaworld Bloemfontein. At Ontime Automotive, Vehicle Transportation returned to profit and Parking Solutions continued to make modest gains, but overall results were impacted by further losses at Rescue & Recovery.



BIC launches a TV campaign to highlight child resistant requirements on lighters — This unprecedented TV advertising campaign from BIC will be broadcasted simultaneously in 15 European countries in March 2008, when European regulation (Decisions 2006/502/EC and 2007/231/EC) requires Member States to prevent  selling non child resistant lighters to consumers(1).

As required under the new regulation, BIC® lighters are now equipped with a reliable child resistant mechanism that makes them more difficult to operate by children.To support this major change for consumers, BIC will advertise on TV with a 30’ spot that highlights BIC® lighters’ quality.Marie Saglio, Marketing Director Europe at BIC explains: “BIC is the leading lighter brand in Europe and in the world. As such, it is our duty to propose consumers high quality lighters, and as well to remind them that lighters must be kept away from children, even if they are child resistant. The commercial highlights this.” Actually consumers can trust BIC expertise in child resistant lighters: the company has been selling child resistant lighters for 15 years in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand where similar legislations have already been enforced.

For over 30 years, BIC has been pursuing its strategy of offering consumers a product they can use daily, safely. Each BIC® lighter undergoes more over 50 individual, automatic tests. All BIC® lighters meet or exceed ISO 9994 international safety standard specifications.

(1) With the exception of lighters that are sold with a 2-year written guarantee, are refillable and can be repaired by an after-sale service based in the European Union.

Xanita creates a world first

An entire expo – made from X-Board.

“X” is the name on everybody’s lips when it comes to innovation and versatility of exhibition and point-of-sale display materials, following the recent Cape Wine 2012 show at the CTICC, where Xanita X-Board was used to construct all of the 278 exhibition stands, in line with the event’s vision of being both green and sustainable. But how does “X” mark the green spot and tick designer boxes?

The x-factor in the material

A greener alternative to MDF, particle-board and foam-core boards, this locally made 100% recyclable product is engineered with the environment in mind and is made from post-consumer recycled cellulose fibres, such as kraft cardboard boxes and sugar cane bagasse.

The use of X-Board at Cape Wine 2012, demonstrated the strength and versatility of this unique product, as well as its ability to be custom-branded to suit specific design requirements of each business.

Xanita X-Board is incredibly lightweight, with a high strength-to-weight ratio and crush resistance – it can be flexed or folded into a 90 degree angle without breaking or buckling, so the board can be re-used many times. It is quick to set up or break down and packs flat for easy storage and transportation.

“These attributes make Xanita X-Board extremely economical and sustainable in reducing the carbon footprint of business as well as saving money otherwise spent on labour during lengthy installations or transport of bulky products,” said Xanita director James Beattie.

The x-factor in design

The X-Boards are fully customisable in terms of shaping and printing, allowing designers to literally think outside the box, unleash their creativity and brand product in an innovative way. Design Indaba 2012 participants played with the X-Board, where they conceptualised on-trend branding in the form of banners, trees, tables and chairs that carried forward the creative ethos for which Design Indaba stands.  In response to Design Indaba 2012’s theme of “I am not a designer. This is not just a board,” said Xanita creative director, Mike McElwee.

Xanita is changing the way the design world looks at exhibition stands and point of sale (POS) displays, shop fittings, three-dimensional signage, design of flat pack furniture and architecture and even coffins.

“The design capacity and possibilities of this product are as endless as your imagination,” said Beattie.  This is no doubt why Xanita has an in-house team of brilliant X-Board designers who translate concepts into workable and clever solutions.

The Xerox 770 Digital Colour Press can help print providers increase monthly print volume by expanding into applications such as photo books, direct-mail pieces, marketing materials and calendars.


A key feature of the Xerox 770 Digital Colour Press is the Automated Colour Quality Suite, a set of tools that handle colour management tasks with minimal operator involvement, allowing for more high-value, profitable applications to move quickly through the shop. The press also prints on a range of stocks, including heavyweight, at the rated speed of 70 pages per minute, a significant competitive advantage. 


The new Xerox 700i Digital Colour Press updates the software and capabilities of the Xerox 700 Digital Colour Press, which has generated print volume and revenue growth for thousands of global print providers.


 Additional features of the Xerox 700i and 770 Digital Colour Presses include:

 ■Inline finishing – easily creates high-value applications inline including face-trimmed saddle-stitched booklets, catalogs, punched documents, tri-fold brochures and photo specialty products.

 ■Heavyweight stock capabilities – increases productivity and application flexibility for stocks up to 300 gsm.

 ■Industry colour standards – allows the presses to accurately match the designer’s intent with optimal quality by achieving Fogra VPS certification. The presses also use the Adobe® PDF Print Engine 2 and are licensed for Pantone® Plus.

 ■Server options – meets the needs of specific print operations. Options for the Xerox 770 Digital Colour Press include Xerox FreeFlow® Print Server and EX Print Server powered by EFI Fiery. The 700i Press has these options as well as the Xerox CX Print Server powered by Creo.

 ■Scanning and copying – increases flexibility with an automatic duplex copying and scanning of 600 x 600 dpi and offers a variety of scanning options such as scan-to-file PDF and paper handling up to 11″ x 17″.

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