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Whitey Basson joins Clover Industries as strengthened board announced

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Clover Industries announced the strengthening of its board with key three strategic appointments, which includes the name of former Shoprite chief executive Whitey Basson

Bassoon and Flemming Morgan join Clover as independent non-executive directors with effect from January 1. The other appointee, Frantz Scheepers, who was appointed as the chief financial officer (CFO) designate effective November 1, 2017 assumes his role as an executive director on January 1. 

Werner Büchner, Clover chairman, said on Monday that the group would benefit by having leaders in the form of Basson and Morgan in its board. 

“The balance of Basson’s 45 years African retail experience combined with Morgan’s experience at some of the world’s best known fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies will significantly strengthen the Clover board. I look forward to working with them closely as we drive Clover’s strategy to develop and expand higher margin value added products in dairy and other related food categories we want to dominate,” Büchner said. 

Basson announced his retirement from Shoprite board in October 2016 and left at the beginning of last year. When he left the retail giant, Basson was credited for growing Shoprite from a small eight-store chain with a value of R1 million to a globally respected retailer with a market capitalisation of just more than R114 billion and over 140 000 employees when he left. He also led its expansion to the rest of Africa after 1994.  

His wealth of experience will serve Clover well as it cements its place as the leading branded consumer goods and beverages group which operates in South Africa and other selected African countries.  

Clover climbed to a three-month high on the JSE after the announcement to R14.15 a share yesterday afternoon, up by more than 3 percent from Friday’s close of R13.65 a share. 

Morgan was until recently a member of the Groupe Danone executive committee and chief executive of Nutricia, Danone's Medical Nutrition Division. “Morgan has a wealth of experience in the FMCG sector having held various senior positions at British American Tobacco, the Coca-Cola Company and Groupe Danone,” the group said.

The group said Scheepers was very familiar with Clover and was Ernst and Young (EY’s) lead audit partner on the Clover audit from 2007 to 2013 and part of the audit team during the company’s listing in 2010.

Going forward the Clover board will consist of two executive directors and seven non-executive directors, of which five are independent, after the appointments.

In the year to end June results, the group reported 44.3 percent decline in operating profit to R314.5m while revenue was slightly up by 2.4 percent to R10bn as drought and input costs had a negative impact on the results.

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