SA’s No 2 tomato sauce producer buys PET packaging company

SA’s second biggest tomato sauce/paste producer, All Joy Foods’ controlling shareholder, Eastern Trading, has bought PET packaging company, Winplas, so it can add to its packaging capacity.

The deal, announced to shareholders on Monday, is for an undisclosed amount.

Winplas, which makes a wide range PET bottles and jars, has factories in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and was founded back in the late 1990s by Warwick Oakley and Peter Raubenheimer, a greenfield producer that has been an undoubted SA packaging success story. It is the biggest privately owned and managed PET converter in SA and employs more than 220 people.

All Joy, which is listed on the JSE’s Alternative Exchange, says Winplas will add to the larger group’s backward-integrated model of producing its own cans and tomato paste.

“All Joy Foods is the leading manufacturer of tomato sauce packed in plastic bottles in South Africa. The business, through its parent company, will now have increased capability to expand its range of long shelf-life food and beverage products,” AH-Vest says.

On its website, it says it started from “humble” beginnings in Newtown, Johannesburg, when its creator and founder, Marci Pather, launched the company in 1987.

In the six months to December, All Joy recorded a profit of R477 068 compared with a loss of R5.98 million in the previous comparable half year.

This came after its attempts to turn the company around bore fruit. Turnover for six months to December 2014 rose by 25 percent.

The acquisition of the bottling plant follows on Eastern Trading’s purchase and upgrading, in February, of a tomato-processing factory in Tzaneen in Limpopo.

The tomato-processing factory was expected to guarantee the supply of high-quality tomato paste and curtail the use of imported tomato paste by Dursots and All Joy, with pure tomato paste being a vital ingredient in both brands’ products.

Interestingly, the Duiwelskloof, Tzaneen-based factory, in Limpopo, where more than 60% of South Africa’s tomatoes were currently produced, was bought from JSE-listed Tiger Brands, maker of the country’s leading tomato sauce brand, All Gold.