AA - June 2021

Authors: Broll Auctions and Sales
14 June 2021

Clover’s large Cape Town factory under the hammer

Branded foods and beverages group Clover’s processing facility in Parow, Cape Town, is set to be auctioned at the end of this month as part of the company’s “rationalisation”.

The 9 000m² premises comes with fully international food manufacturing and grading regulations-compliant yard space, a large warehouse, offices, ablution facilities and cold storage, according to Broll Auctions and Sales.

Shane Howe, a sales agent Broll Auctions and Sales, said the facility also came with equipment that will also be available for purchase. He added that the property had previously been advertised for sale.

“But they [Clover] decided to put it on auction [last week] … they wanted to see if they could realise a good value out of auction,” Howe said.

However, he said it was difficult to gauge what the value of the property was at this stage, since it included a lot of machinery.

“So, it all depends on whether the plant and machinery is included or they are just selling the building, it’s not as straightforward a sale as a normal transaction. I suppose an auction is the best way to test what the market value is,” he said.

Decision taken ‘years ago’

On Monday, in a response to Fin24’s enquiry about the auction, Clover said the decision to sell the facility was taking years ago as of its move to “simplify the business and optimise operations through rationalisation of Clover’s production platforms and facilities”.

The news of the auction comes on the back of Clover’s decision to shut down and relocate its cheese factory from Lichtenburg in the North West to Queensburgh in eThekwini. The company’s decision has been met with government and community concerns about job losses, which will amount to 330, according to Netwerk24.

But Clover said it had no choice but to make the move owing to service delivery issues following years of unsuccessful engagements with Lichtenburg’s Ditsobotla Local Municipality on the state of its roads and water and electricity disruptions.

Last week, North West Premier Job Mokgoro dispatched a political task team led by Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Desbo Mohono to meet with Clover’s management to persuade the company to cancel its relocation. The provincial government believes there is still hope of Clover staying in Lichtenburg.

But the municipality’s Mayor Tsholofelo Moreo said Clover’s reasons for relocating were “misleading and devoid of truth”

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