EMPOWERMENT: KWV Empowerment Increases
Recent Western Cape Business News
KEET (the KWV Employee Empowerment Trust), and currently the 3rd largest shareholder in the wine and brandy company, has increased its shareholding in KWV Holdings to 8, 7%.
KEET was established as a trust for previously disadvantaged employees at the time of KWV’s landmark empowerment transaction in 2004. The trust acquired 6, 77% of KWV’s shares in the initial transaction, mainly funded through an interest free loan from KWV.
In the last eight years, the value of KEET’s investment in KWV more than doubled. Dividend yields from its investments (which include shareholding in Capevin Holdings after the restructuring of the group in 2009) have allowed KEET to not only service its loan, but also to make payments to beneficiaries since 2007 and to allocate study grants to children of beneficiaries on a annual basis. KEET has a total of 429 beneficiaries – all current or previous employees of KWV.
KEET beneficiaries include employees that have left the company due to retrenchments or employees that were transferred due to sale of KWV business units. The decision to accommodate them as beneficiaries for 10 years was initiated by FAWU (Food and Allied Workers Union), whom is also represented on the board of trustees.
According to KEET chairman, Barry Matthews, the decision to acquire additional shares in KWV was a strategic one, based on the trust’s objective to be able to significantly influence decisions about the future of the company.
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