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Media Release

FENNER Conveyor Belting announces landmark BEE deal

Fenner & BEE Partnership - View larger version (opens in a new window)

FENNER (South Africa), the country’s leading manufacturer and distributor of fire resistant conveyor belting to the local coal mining industry in which it commands a 75-80% market share, has become the first of its sector to conclude a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partnership. Today’s landmark announcement marks the sale of 25% plus one share of its issued share capital to Peotona Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd, a women’s investment and development company founded by Cheryl Carolus, Wendy Lucas-Bull, Dolly Mokgatle and Thandi Orleyn. The deal will become effective within 60 days

The Isando-based Fenner (SA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange-listed Fenner PLC, a world leader in reinforced polymer technology whose history spans almost 150 years. The UK-based parent company now has annualised turnover of more than £350-million and employs almost 3 500 employees across five continents. In addition to South Africa, Fenner operates in the USA, Canada, Europe, China, India and Australia.

In commenting on today’s announcement, Fenner PLC Chief Executive, Mark Abrahams says: “Our long connection with the SA mining industry, the country’s most important economic sector, indicates that we are fully committed in continuing to play a sustaining role in its future. In signing this historic deal we have indicated our unequivocal intention to wholeheartedly support and contribute to the South African government’s ideals of industry transformation and the ongoing success of the wider South African economy.”

Frank Ledger, MD of Fenner (SA) adds: “The process we have gone through in reaching today’s milestone has taken over six months. We had to be absolutely sure that the company selected as our empowerment partner could contribute real value to our business across a range of activities. It was also important that, together with strong business skills and experience, we had to ensure our chosen partner’s operating values were aligned totally with our commitment and vision to drive the Fenner conveyor belting business forward.

Fenner (SA) - one of the Fenner Group’s key contributors - employs 120 staff and specialises in the manufacture and distribution of solid woven, textile reinforced PVC and Nitrile fire resistant belting manufactured to the South African National Standards for fiery mines (SANS 971 2003) for use in underground mining.

It has been manufacturing a range of conveyor belting for over 30 years and has a long association with all the major mining houses of the region. An ISO 9001 registered company, Fenner’s goal is to add value to the supply chain, exploring all means by which it can strengthen its customer relationships. Fenner also operates a field service division and this ensures it keeps abreast of the activity at the “mining coal face” on a regular basis.

Peotona’s Executive Chairperson, Cheryl Carolus, a former South African High Commissioner in London, says: “We are naturally honoured to have been selected as Fenner (SA)’s preferred empowerment partner most especially given the Fenner Group’s enviable position as the world’s largest supplier and manufacturer of essential mining equipment. We look forward to working with our new South African partners to further the company’s success and to providing the strategic support that, encompassing a distinct competitive advantage, will assist it to leverage additional business growth opportunities.”

Fenner (SA)’s parent company, Fenner PLC, began selling imported power transmission and conveyor belting products in South Africa through local agents in the 1950s prior to establishing the locally-based manufacturing and distribution company in 1960. Fenner (SA) later shifted its core focus to reinforced polymers and the manufacture, distribution, service and support of solid woven PVC and nitrile covered conveyor belting and today boasts a strong blue-chip client base across the South African region.

Editors’ Notes:

Peotona Group Holdings was established in 2005 by a group of some of South Africa’s most credible and successful business women who are jointly committed to establishing an investment company that adds value to its investments and at the same time facilitates the development of sustainable solutions in disadvantaged communities.

Issued on behalf of: Fenner (SA), Isando, Johannesburg

By Wantok Communications

SA Media Contact: Liz Sheridan (+27) 083 361 3265