||Platform & Consolidation
|Subsidiary investment type
||Replacement and Growth
|Our entrepreneur partners
||Andries van Rensburg and Robin Smith
Liberty Star Consumer Holdings (Libstar), headquartered in Johannesburg, manufactures and distributes food, household and personal care products. It employs approximately 3 000 people and has a consolidated turnover of around R3 billion. The company operates nationally through subsidiaries located in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.
Metier and Andries van Rensburg created Libstar with the vision of serving the growing private label and contract manufacturing FMCG markets in South Africa. Since its formation in 2005 and investment by LMCGF following its first closing in 2006, Libstar has pursued a strategy of acquiring controlling equity stakes in existing businesses which demonstrate sound management and high growth potential.
Metier and the central functions of the Libstar group add value by providing strategic guidance, balance sheet efficiencies, rationalisation benefits, treasury management, information technology and marketing services. The returns of business units and operating margins have grown along with organic revenues. Libstar serves all major retailers in the South African market including large brand houses like Unilever, Nestle and Tiger Brands, and food service players like McDonalds and KFC. The group offers its customers a broad range of FMCG food, household and personal care products with a nationwide presence and distribution and manufacturing capacity. Products in Libstar's portfolio include cheeses, sauces and condiments, cereals, baking aids, herbs and spices, beef and chicken products, pasta, imported European deli products, as well as detergents and washing powders.
Libstar has been positioned to capture the private label market, which is expected to achieve similar penetration levels in South Africa as have been seen elsewhere in the world. Libstar's lack of immediate competitors outside the branded market space; its strong customer relationships; and its scale, scope, and operational effectiveness mean that it is well positioned to capture this growth.
The market growth is in turn driven by:
- rising household expenditure;
- changing food consumption behaviour;
- private label penetration growth;
- growing retailer concentration;
- brand owners looking to outsource manufacturing and exit their own private label manufacturing; and
- consumers buying-down to value-for-money alternatives and often not switching back in better times.
Metier and Libstar's management are building the group to a scale and track record suitable for an IPO or merger with industry or financial players.