DIRECTORS of Sovereign Food Investments deny it, but the company is adopting an empowerment scheme to ward off takeover attempts by larger poultry rivals. In creating this “friendly” voting block with management participation, Sovereign has the support of influential
institutional investors Prudential, Sanlam and Old Mutual. In addition, the JSE’s “big bird”, Astral Foods, which recently indicated a willingness to play a lead role in consolidating the big six players in the local poultry sector, appears to have retreated.

It says it has not made any offer or entered into any negotiations with any poultry producers or their shareholders. Though it will continue to explore strategic alternatives, its cautionary notice has been lifted.

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