Barloworld to unbundle stake in Avis through separate JSE listing


JSE-listed industrial brand management firm Barloworld has confirmed the unbundling of its car leasing and rental business Avis Southern Africa through a separate listing on the main board of the JSE as Zeda Group (Zeda).

The company expects to list Zeda, which will continue to trade its Avis and Budget brands, on 13 December. 

In a statement issued on Monday, the company further indicates that each Barloworld shareholder will receive one Zeda ordinary share for every one Barloworld ordinary share held.

It says the unbundling represents a completion of its non-core divestiture programme and will result in a more streamlined business with its strategy and capital allocation focused on industrial equipment and services, and consumer industries verticals.

“This is a bittersweet moment for Barloworld. While we conclude our restructuring and portfolio shift to defensive, relatively asset light and cash generative industrial sectors, based on a business-to-business operating model, we are also letting go of an incredibly strong business whose adaptability has taken it from strength to strength,” notes Barloworld’s group CEO, Dominic Sewela.

Sewela says the decision was taken in the interest of maintaining value for the company’s shareholders. “As two separate companies each business will be able to operate in a more focused and efficient manner, actively pursuing our growth ambitions in different sectors and verticals.”

Moreover, the company says, once listed Zeda will be the only integrated mobility solutions provider of its kind in Southern Africa. “By leveraging this integrated system along with Avis and Budget customer loyalty, Zeda has unparalleled forecasting capabilities which allow it to proactively assess the consumer landscape and adapt to market demands.”

It says that by operating as a standalone company, Zeda will be able to pursue its growth strategy with autonomy on capital allocation.

“Being a standalone business will enable better focused execution of our integrated mobility strategy, which caters to the evolving customer’s needs in our markets of operation,” adds Zeda’s group CEO-designate, Ramasela Ganda.

Ganda says Zeda’s operations, which also include fleet management, will benefit the Southern African economy and play a vital role in key value chains and sectors.