Lewis cashes in at Foschini

Lewis cashes in at Foschini

2006-01-25 15:43

Cape Town - Foschini, the fashion retailer, reported on Wednesday that the Lewis family had sold 5m shares for R272m.

To put this into perspective, the Lewises started buying heavily into Foschini in 2002 at what we can now see were bargain basement prices of between 700c/share and 900c/share.

This compared to the R54.50/share at which they have now sold some of that stock.

In all, over a two year period, the Lewises bought 18.5m shares - for a grand total of R180m - to add to the 3m-or-so shares they already owned, making them one of Foschini's largest shareholders.

In other words, the Lewises have now pocketed more than they spent buying up the stock, and they still have a 6.8% stake in the group.

The Lewis family has a long history with Foschini. Stanley Lewis bought control of the fashion retailer - a listed company - just over 40 years ago when it was experiencing financial difficulty.

Lewis maintained control of the company through the Lewis Foschini (Lefic) pyramid holding company, which was established and listed in the late Sixties specifically for that purpose.

Though Stanley Lewis stayed on as chairperson, the family disposed of most of their interests in Foschini when they moved to London in the late Eighties.

Lewis finally resigned from the board of directors about seven years ago to be replaced by his son Michael.