Ububele Holdings Limited is a JSE, AltX listed South African holding company, with the stated objective of becoming the business partner of choice in Africa providing lucrative investment opportunities in agriculture related sectors.
Our vision is to supply our clients with the necessary scientific knowledge and product mix to ensure long-term sustainability and so make a contribution to food security.
Our mission is to invest in new agricultural scientific businesses and to support and grow our existing business to create sustainable value for all our stakeholders.
Mentele Investments, a black-owned investment consortium, is the single largest shareholder in Ububele.
Ububele was founded in 2002. Initially, the board identified a number of sectors to invest in – i.e. airline catering, food processing, agriculture, security and property.
The agriculture and food processing businesses grew steadily and showed growth potential. However, the South African airline catering industry faced some challenges and for strategic reasons the Ububele board of directors decided to dispose of its investment in Ground Crew at the end of 2005. The sale allowed the board to release previous shareholders and settle some debt. By decreasing debt levels and increasing current assets the sale improved the company’s balance sheet.
Since the disposal of Ground Crew, Ububele has acquired more businesses in the food and agriculture sectors – Novon WTP, RT Chemicals, Linktrade and Just Fruit and Veg. Ububele was also able to re-establish itself in the airline catering business in Windhoek at Hosea Kutako International Airport.
At the beginning of 2007, the board had identified strategic acquisitions, but cash generated from operations was no longer enough to finance growth through acquisitions. Therefore, the board decided to secure external funding to ensure growth and sustainability. Among other things, sustainability required vertical integration of our chemical business by acquiring a chemical manufacturer. This was achieved by acquiring RT Chemicals, which owned several chemical patents and formulated some of its own products.
The acquisition of RT Chemicals made it possible for Ububele to list on the JSE’s AltX. However, the board decided to rather postpone the listing to 2009, giving itself time to bulk up its assets and go to the equities market with a stronger balance sheet.
For Ububele to be more attractive to the equities market, it had to focus on its core investments. The most natural way to achieve this was to focus on the food-processing and agriculture-related business sectors. The group had expertise in these sectors and the sectors held growth opportunities worldwide. At the time food security was, as it is still today, an international hot topic. Therefore it made sense for the board to focus its resources and energy on agriculture and food processing as agriculture and food were high growth areas.
On 11 November 2009 Ububele listed on the AltX. By then the balance sheet was stronger and Ububele had proved to itself and its shareholders that it had the expertise to grow further into agriculture.
During 2012 the board decided to disinvest from the food sector over the medium term and only focus on agriculture, which made up more than 80% of the business.
Ububele sold and disinvested in most of these businesses during the first half of the financial year and also sold their dairy and logistical businesses. After the disposal of the majority of their food businesses, the board of directors realigned their strategy to focus only on the agricultural sector.
On 1 April 2013 Ububele aquired a 51% shareholding in Turf-Ag Products Proprietary Limited (“Turf-Ag”). Turf-Ag, which operates throughout South Africa, imports and distributes agricultural and turf irrigation equipment and supplies products to the agriculture and turf market. The company holds the distribution rights to the well-known American irrigation brand, Hunter.
Ububele aims to grow its agricultural businesses and focus specifically on scientific agricultural knowledge and retail products, to ensure a sustainable future for all our stakeholders.
Emphasis will be on new product development, new product mixes, water management and growth into Africa with existing and new product ranges.