Grindrod appoints director, Ebrahim, into Senwes

Grindrod Trading has implanted a director, Ruwayda Ebrahim, inside agricultural commodity trader Senwes.

This comes after the Grindrod Trading; a subsidiary of JSE listed group Grindrod which provides freight transport, trading, shipping and financial services; acquired a 20% stake in Senwes. The transaction can be seen as part of a wave of corporate activity sweeping through South Africa’s agri sector and proving its attractions as a launch pad into the sub Saharan region.

In a statement released last week Grindrod said it nominated Ebrahim as director on the board of directors of Senwes with effect from 5 September 2013.

“Ruwayda is a chartered accountant and obtained a B.Com degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as a post-graduate diploma in accountancy. After having completed her articles at Deloitte, she filled various positions in the Deloitte group, which included international offices such as New York,” said the company.

She is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Grindrod Trading, a division of Grindrod Limited, and is director of various companies in this group”.

The Managing Director of Grindrod, Alan Olivier, will act as her alternate director.

In acquiring concluding the transaction which saw Grindrod acquire 20% stake in Senwes, the the two companies said the transaction was packed with synergies.

“This agreement is aligned with the growth strategy of Senwes and the diversification of Senwes’s geographic and commodity risks. As future strategic partners, multiple opportunities and synergies in the agricultural, commodity and logistics sectors will be pursued”.

Grindrod brings about operating and marketing synergies locally and internationally.  “In pursuing the strategy of becoming a fully integrated freight and logistics service provider, Grindrod invests in assets and opportunities across the four operating divisions, with specific focus on dry bulk and bulk liquid commodities, containerised cargo and vehicles”.

The acquisition announcement added that the Grinrod strategy correlates with that of Senwes in the bulk soft commodity market and logistics in terms of the handling, marketing and importing and exporting of grain commodities globally, locally and into SADC.

Grindrod acquired a portion of the shares from Senwes’s remaining shareholder in the Black economic empowerment (BEE) consortium, namely Treacle.

Senwes is described as one of the leading agribusiness companies in South Africa. Established in 1909, with its roots and head office based in Klerksdorp, the company’s operations have grown to be represented across four countries in the SADC region. “The company’s main business is the provision of input products for agricultural production, market access for grain produce, as well as financial, technical and logistical services to grain producers. Senwes’ business activities are predominantly in the Northwest, Free State, Gauteng and Western Cape provinces of South Africa, with a footprint in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique”.

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