Positive Parenting Programme creates everlasting bonds between parent and children!
RCL Foods understands and embraces the responsibility and opportunities that come from being a large corporate citizen, and is constantly striving to be a force for positive change in the communities within which it operates.
RCL Foods strives to advance the development of communities and their environments? Through multi stakeholder partnerships, leading to sustainable projects that assist in eradicating social ills and encourage social change.
A good example this positive change process is RCL Foods’ Positive Parenting Programme which was initiated earlier this year. The Programme forms part of ongoing staff development, specifically offering valuable information and practical skills for parents of young children at the Rainbow Worcester Plant. The focus is on ‘learning through play’ for children in their early years.
The programme is delivered in an exciting, practical and very interactive format, engaging staff in a way that supports and enhances their roles as parents. Most importantly the programme aims to capture the imagination of parents, enabling them to see the limitless possibilities available and motivating staff to embrace the privilege of parenthood. RCL Food’s, Rainbow Plant in Worcester was a hub of activity and excitement with loud shouts of “well done” and “high 5’s “added to bouts of laughter as the first session of The Positive Parenting Programme kicked off in April this year.
The 6-month programme aims to take the eager group of over 200 staff through various topics, designed to strengthen family values, bonds and relationships – “A family that plays together stays together “
Whilst essentially developed to support staff, the programme has been extended to also accommodate the Worcester Community, with an initial sign up of 40 Early Childhood Development sites, effectively benefiting more than 2 000 children!
Iris Naidoo, Group Corporate Social Investment Specialist at RCL Foods said: “RCL Foods is confident that the Positive Parenting Programme will not only strengthen family units but will also strengthen communities and help ease social dysfunction.”
Remgro changing its spots
28 November 2013
DESCRIBING Remgro as “staid, constant and reliable” is probably a fair reflection of the company’s corporate nature. But investors should not lose sight of the fact that the directors have not hesitated to make changes to enhance and focus shareholder returns.
Indeed Remgro, or rather its corporate predecessor Rembrandt, has undergone a number of structural changes over the years. Parts have been split off, like the luxury goods business Richemont and the tobacco interests under British American Tobacco (BAT). The technology-focused investment company Venfin, which once housed the valuable 15% stake in cellular services operator Vodacom, was unbundled and then reincorporated.
In the 1990s Rembrandt also simplified its hugely complex pyramid holding structure, which involved four separate listings.
Remgro today comprises seven investment platforms: banking (RMB and FirstRand; health care (Mediclinic International); insurance (MMI and RMI); food, liquor & home care (RCL, Unilever and Distell); infrastructure (Grindrod, Dark Fibre Africa and Seacom); industrial (Total SA, Air Products and Kagiso Tiso Holdings); and media (e.tv).
The future focus for investments is unashamedly on SA and the rest of Africa. Remgro CEO Jannie Durand says the company is particularly fond of the opportunities offered in East Africa, but stresses the African push will be meticulously planned so as to not overpay for assets. “We have no particular target set for expansion in Africa, but the push into the continent is part of every one of our investment platforms.”
The sector focus for the immediate future revolves mainly around the quartet of food, liquor & home care (FLH), health care, infrastructure and media.
At the time of writing, Remgro’s health care subsidiary, Mediclinic International – which owns the Hooglanden private hospital network in Switzerland and a small grouping of hospitals and clinics in the United Arab Emirates – had announced the acquisition of two pathology laboratories as part of its Middle East expansion. Mediclinic currently operates in Namibia and it will be interesting to see if Remgro is keen to expand the brand into fast-growing economies such as Angola, Nigeria, Botswana and Kenya.
The infrastructure push is seemingly being driven through logistics and shipping giant Grindrod, which recently acquired 20% stakes in top agri-services businesses Senwes and NWK. The two are currently under cautionary, and perhaps Grindrod – with Remgro at its side – could drive further consolidation in SA’s fragmented agri-business sector.
Remgro has also undertaken significant infrastructure partnerships with a 45% stake in the Kagiso Infrastructure Empowerment Fund (KIEF) and the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund (PRIF).
KIEF invests in roads, airports, power and telecommunication installations, railway systems, ports, water and social infrastructure, while 50%-held PRIF focuses on private sector investment in infrastructure across Africa.
It appears almost inevitable that Grindrod and the fund investments willoverlap.
Arguably the most exciting segment is the FLH cluster, which comprises food conglomerate RCL Foods (formerly Rainbow Chicken), Distell and a 25% stake in household brands giant Unilever.
Aside from its traditional holdings in Rainbow Chicken and Vector Logistics, RCL has now been bulked up with Foodcorp’s brands (Nola mayonnaise, Ouma rusks, and Yum peanut butter, among others) and more recently the “swap-in” of TSB Sugar (of which Remgro already held 100%).
With TSB on board, RCL will hold an equity value of about R15bn, putting the company just behind JSE food sector stalwarts AVI and Pioneer Foods Group in terms of market capitalisation. With its appetite for new opportunities not yet sated, RCL is about to undertake its second sizeable rights offer in less than a year – this time petitioning its minority shareholders to pitch in for R2,5bn.
The question is whether RCL would look at chasing down large prey (perhaps Brait’s Premier Foods) or prefer to nibble at selected operational assets that can be easily mixed into the existing food holdings. Allied to the bulking up of the Remgro food basket in RCL is the group’s influential minority stake in Unilever.
Durand says Remgro is a very happy investor in Unilever.
Some market watchers have pondered whether RCL would attempt to buy back the Robertson’s spice brands from Unilever. These highly profitable spice operations once belonged to Rembrandt subsidiary HLH (which initially housed Rainbow Chicken), and Miles Dally, the highly rated CEO of RCL Foods, was formerly the boss of Robertson’s.
For the time being, though, it seems as if Remgro won’t have any hitches by having both RCL and Unilever in its food basket.
Perhaps more intriguing is what role Remgro will play as the biggest investor in liquor group Distell. Remgro has in recent years fortified its position with 33,4% after snapping up shares on the open market and also acquiring a significant minority interest in Capevin (a holding company with an influential stake in Distell as its only asset).
The other major Distell shareholder is beer giant SABMiller with a 28,9% stake. SABMiller holds no board influence at Distell (even though former SABMiller executive Richard Rushton was recently headhunted to serve as CEO of Distell), and the relative value of the stake in Distell is small for the global brewer.
There can be no doubt Remgro is coveting SABMiller’s stake in Distell. But with Distell making huge gains in its cider business (at the expense of beer in SA), SABMiller might like to retain some equity in the venture.
There are market watchers who feel Distell (which has recently acquired influence in global cognac and whiskey markets) would only be able to deliver on its global ambitions if Remgro was unhindered as the directional shareholder.
But if Remgro can make a strategic ally of SABMiller, then marketing synergies could be useful in extending the highly profitable cider business into international markets and in strengthening distribution systems in wine exports.