New employee stock ownership plan for SAB to list on the JSE

SAB Zenzele Kabili will list on 28 May, with 95 percent of shareholders in favour of the scheme.

Brewing giant SAB has announced that its new black empowerment scheme, SAB Zenzele Kabili, will list on the JSE on 28 May, following a special general meeting on Tuesday.

It was reported that 95 percent of shareholders were in favour of the empowerment scheme, which meets the requirements for listing on the stock exchange.

The listing will “facilitate liquidity and broaden ownership to other B-BBEE investors, including qualifying SAB employees through a new employee stock ownership plan” according to a statement.

Duncan Pask, SAB’s company secretary, said in the statement that SAB Zenzele Kabili was set to deliver even more value over time. “We look forward to continuing to generate wealth for all our retailer partners, employees and qualifying members of the public who invest in the scheme,” he said.

SAB is the South African business of AB InBev, following the combining of SABMiller and AB InBev in 2016. In the initial empowerment scheme, launched in 2010, the group sold about eight percent of its local subsidiary to BEE investors at a minimum of R100 for shares worth. R50,000 and up to R25,000 for shares valued at R500,000, with the remainder funded by dividends over 10 years.

Earlier this month, on the eve of Workers Day, representatives of AB InBev South Africa joined the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, to discuss their worker ownership structures. Patel said more than 150,000 South African workers were now owners of the companies they work for and more worker ownership provisions were being put in place by companies.

“Through all of this work we are laying the grounds for deeper inclusion and strategic alignment between shareholders, management and workers. But ownership is not enough. The new-generation shareholding arrangement provides for worker representatives on to the boards of their companies,” he said.

“An important element of broad-based transformation includes bringing workers into the ownership and representative structures of companies across the economy. It is about bringing key wealth-creators in, not only as wage earners but also as owners of capital; and in that way developing an inclusive South African model, shifting from an adversarial approach on the shop-floor,” he added.

He announced new guidelines which will be published on the use of worker ownership and other broad-based ownership schemes so that evergreen structures that provide longevity in their benefit for workers may also be recognised.

Richard Rivett-Carnac, VP Finance for AB InBev South Africa, announced that the company would be launching a new R5.4 billion empowerment fund within the next few months, R2.4 billion of which would be made available to their 5,600 workers in the company.