SAB and the JSE:120 years of growth

14 Sep 15

20 years of SAB KickStartIn 1866, British-born brewer Charles Glass moved his small operation, Glass & Co, from northern Natal to the rapidly growing Witwatersrand. After forming a partnership with businessmen Jim Welsh and Henry Brown Marshall, Glass started the Castle Brewery in 1888, named after his signature Castle beer – highly sought after by the numerous taverns and pubs that had sprung up in the city.

It wasn’t long before other brewers took notice of Glass’s growing success and, in 1892, Frederick Mead of the Natal Brewing Syndicate bought Castle Brewery and its three-turreted trademark for £18, 000.

In 1895, Mead founded the South African Breweries (SAB), with a listing in London and its head offices in Johannesburg. Just two years later, SAB was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), becoming the first ever industrial share. In 1898, SAB listed on the London Stock Exchange. Nearly 120 years later, SAB is not only dual-listed, but the second largest listed company on the JSE.

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SAB has a history of using shares on the JSE as a way to empower its employees, long before it was fashionable. In 1987, ABI (SAB’s soft drink division) was converted to a public company. Two years later, the division was listed on the JSE and SAB facilitated the purchasing of shares by employees at R1 per share. Direct ownership by black employees in listed companies was incredibly rare at the time.

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In 1999, under the visionary leadership of then-chief executive Graham Mackay, SAB made the decision to move its primary listing from Johannesburg to the London Stock Exchange. With greater access to international capital markets, SAB acquired the Miller Brewing Company in 2002 and was officially renamed SABMiller.

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SABMiller has continued to grow internationally – from its original South African base into a global company with operations and brewing interests in 80 countries, across six continents. By 2011, the price of SABMiller shares on the LSE had grown by a staggering 430% since its entry in 1999. The SABMiller share price on both the JSE and the LSE reached a 5-year high in 2015.


In May this year, SABMiller announced its acquisition of British brewery Meantime Brewing. With continued growth and expansion on the cards, the company can look forward to a successful future on both the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

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In 1866, British-born brewer Charles Glass moved his small operation, Glass & Co, from northern Natal to the rapidly growing Witwatersrand. After forming a partnership with businessmen Jim Welsh and Henry Brown Marshall, Glass started the Castle Brewery in 1888, named after his signature Castle beer – highly sought after by the numerous taverns and pubs that had sprung up in the city.

It wasn’t long before other brewers took notice of Glass’s growing success and, in 1892, Frederick Mead of the Natal Brewing Syndicate bought Castle Brewery and its three-turreted trademark for £18, 000.

In 1895, Mead founded the South African Breweries (SAB), with a listing in London and its head offices in Johannesburg. Just two years later, SAB was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), becoming the first ever industrial share. In 1898, SAB listed on the London Stock Exchange. Nearly 120 years later, SAB is not only dual-listed, but the second largest listed company on the JSE.

1

SAB has a history of using shares on the JSE as a way to empower its employees, long before it was fashionable. In 1987, ABI (SAB’s soft drink division) was converted to a public company. Two years later, the division was listed on the JSE and SAB facilitated the purchasing of shares by employees at R1 per share. Direct ownership by black employees in listed companies was incredibly rare at the time.

2

In 1999, under the visionary leadership of then-chief executive Graham Mackay, SAB made the decision to move its primary listing from Johannesburg to the London Stock Exchange. With greater access to international capital markets, SAB acquired the Miller Brewing Company in 2002 and was officially renamed SABMiller.

1

SABMiller has continued to grow internationally – from its original South African base into a global company with operations and brewing interests in 80 countries, across six continents. By 2011, the price of SABMiller shares on the LSE had grown by a staggering 430% since its entry in 1999. The SABMiller share price on both the JSE and the LSE reached a 5-year high in 2015.

In May this year, SABMiller announced its acquisition of British brewery Meantime Brewing. With continued growth and expansion on the cards, the company can look forward to a successful future on both the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

1