COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

30 July 2021 | Business

Tiger Brands forced to recall cans

Tiger Brands is recalling certain KOO and Hugo’s canned vegetable products produced from 1 May 2019 to 5 May 2021 due to an extremely small number of defective cans supplied by a packaging supplier. The cans may have a defective side seam weld that could cause the can to leak. The company identified the issue as part of its internal quality assurance processes.

Canned products forming part of this recall include products from the KOO and Hugo’s canned vegetable range, including baked beans, that were produced from 1 May 2019 to 5 May 2021.

The issue was first identified as part of routine quality control procedures. Investigations identified a deficiency in the side seam weld of cans manufactured by a third-party supplier.

No health issues have been reported to date relating to the affected product range. Despite the low probability of illness and injury, matters of quality and food safety are an absolute priority for Tiger Brands. Therefore, the company in consultation with the National Consumer Council (NCC) made the decision to initiate a precautionary withdrawal in the best interest of consumers.

Tiger Brands is working with its retail and wholesale customers to remove all affected canned vegetable products from store shelves and replace with fresh stock produced from quality assured cans. - My Office News

Prosus faces investor criticism

Technology investor Prosus will pay up to US$144 million in transaction fees when it buys a block of parent company Naspers' shares, according to a document submitted to stock exchanges on July 12, prompting criticism from investors.

The fees total more than Prosus' free cashflow for the year ended March 31, and are almost three times more than Naspers paid in 2019 to list Prosus on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

Some 95 million euros (US$112 million) of the fees will be to cover securities transfer tax (STT), according to the document, reviewed by Reuters. The rest will be for costs such as fees for bankers, lawyers and accountants.

Prosus was spun out of Naspers in 2019 to hold the South African group's international assets, including its 29% stake in Chinese tech giant Tencent. Naspers hoped the move would reduce the discount its shares traded at to the value of its holding in Tencent.

To try to address this, Prosus said in May it would issue new shares to buy up to 45.4% of Naspers in a share swap deal. -Nampa/Reuters

Union at BHP urges members to strike

The union at BHP Group Ltd's Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's largest, on Wednesday urged its members to vote to strike, saying the company was attempting to impose its will and its contract offer was "insufficient".

The powerful, 2 300-member union is set to vote on BHP's contract offer between Thursday and Saturday this week.

"The Union has summoned all its members to vote en masse to reject this last offer, in order to declare a legal strike, the only tool that we have left in this scenario," the statement read.

A prolonged strike by the mine's top worker's union would constrict already tight global supplies of copper and likely send already high prices higher.

Negotiations over the last two months between the company and the union have been conducted in secrecy, against a backdrop of record high metal prices amid expectations of a gradual global recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The union said in its statement the talks had failed to make progress on its main demands, including an improved system of professional development and performance-based compensation. -Nampa/Reuters

Transnet to lift force majeure

South African state logistics firm Transnet said it would soon lift a force majeure for its container terminals that it declared following a cyberattack that disrupted operations.

The cyberattack, which has hampered container terminals at Trasnets's ports from Thursday, could cause backlogs and hobble the region's exports of goods to international markets.

Force majeure is a contractual clause invoked when factors outside a company's control render it unable to meet its commitments to customers.

A document sent to customers and dated on Monday said the force majeure would be implemented with immediate effect.

It would impact container terminals in Durban, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town due to "an act of cyberattack, security intrusion and sabotage" which has disrupted normal processes and continues to persist.-Nampa/Reuters

SA's Mango Airlines suspends flights

South African Airways (SAA) subsidiary Mango Airlines temporarily suspended all flights and services on Tuesday until further notice due to outstanding payments to Air Traffic Navigation Services, Mango acting CEO William Ndlovu said.

"Senior management and our shareholder are locked-in in emergency discussions to find an amicable solution to this impasse," Ndlovu said in a statement.

The budget carrier is in a dire financial position despite the South African parliament having approved a special allocation of R2.7 billion for SAA subsidiaries.

On Monday SAA's interim chief executive Thomas Kgokolo said Mango will enter a local form of bankruptcy protection known as business rescue.

In April Mango briefly halted flights because of outstanding payments to Airports Company South Africa and has not paid workers salaries for more than two months. -Nampa/Reuters

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