(Adds detail, more CEO comment)
JOHANNESBURG Feb 27 South African trading,
services and distribution firm Bidvest has access to $1
billion for acquisitions, its chief executive said on Monday.
Bidvest, which spun off its foodservice division Bidcorp
in a $5 billion listing on the JSE last year, has
operations in Namibia and investments in India and Britain
alongside stakes in various smaller listed and unlisted firms.
"We'd be able to raise $1 billion should we need it, or
about 14 billion rand ($1 billion) to 15 billion rand and that
has been confirmed by a lot of the bankers," said Lindsay Ralphs
in a conference call to reporters.
The firm has identified acquisition targets outside South
Africa in the services and commercial products industries and
has met with shareholders and management, he said.
"We have got ample headroom to accommodate expansion
opportunities," Ralphs added.
Bidvest on Monday reported a 4.4 percent rise in half-year
Headline earnings per share increased to 510.3 cents for the
6 months to end-December, from 489 cents in the previous year.
Its shares slipped 1.2 percent to 163 rand.
($1 = 12.9500 rand)
(Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by James Macharia and Louise