Famous Brands’ non-executive Director sells off shares worth US$3m

SOUTH AFRICA – The non-executive Director and former CEO of Famous Brands, John Halamandres has disposed more than 500,000 ordinary shares he was holding of the company valued at almost R45m (US$3m) in over five months.

Mr. Halamandres has been undertaking sell off to raise money to finance a loan with a financial institution, whose settlement is expected to take place on November 13, 2019. The value of the loan has not been provided.

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Halamandres is a founding member of Famous Brands which owns food franchises Steers, Wimpy, Debonairs and Mugg & Bean.

He retired from executive management in March 2001 and was subsequently appointed non-executive deputy chairman. He served in that position until May 2010, reports Fin24.

According to a shareholder notice issued by Famous Brands, Halamandres disposed 200 000 shares in October 28. The transaction was worth approximately R15.87m (US$1m).

At the end of May, Halamandres sold R12.3m (US$0.83m) in Famous Brands shares, and he sold another R16.6m (US$1.1m) in shares in July.

In total, the value of the three disposals come to R44.72m (US$3m).

Late last month, the South African restaurant franchisor reported a 15% fall in headline earnings, while revenue remained flat at around R3.6bn (US$246m) in the six months to end-August.

According to its half year interim results, its SA revenue grew by 1%, while in the UK – which contributes 20% of the group’s revenue declined after the company closed 24 restaurants.

However, the restaurants of its UK chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen which remained open saw strong sales growth of more than 8% according to the company.

But CEO Darren Hele warned that he sees some tough times ahead in the UK, given the lack of clarity around Brexit.

In terms of revenue from its “leading brands” (Steers, Wimpy, Debonairs, Milky Lane, Fishaways, Mugg & Bean and others) increased by 5% to R386m (US$26m).

Revenue at its “signature brands” (Tashas, Keg, Vovo Telo and others) climbed 44% to R94.7m (US$6m).

Its manufacturing business took a hit after its chips factory, Lamberts Bay Foods, lost a major client, and saw a 39% fall in revenue.

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