By Donna Collins
A LARGE commercial salt company, situated near Cape Cross, has been put on the market for N$44 million, with an additional payment of N$1 million required for the claim rights.
The Henties Salt Works Company is one of only a handful of large commercial salt producing companies in the country, which churns out salt for the SADC market, with a possibility to expand to markets further afield.
The salt company went sale a few weeks ago, as the current owner is planning to retire.
This unique business opportunity has been listed with Walvis Bay estate agent, Andrew Meyer, of Meyer Van Mil Estates, who is selling the salt company on behalf of the owner, Dries Vermeulen, who has run the family business for around 20 years.
Vermeulen told Confidente this week that he has been operating the largest and most well-established salt works in the Cape Cross area, with only around six fully-fledged operations of this kind, currently operating along the coast.
He also said that he sells his blocks to South Africa, Angola and other SADC countries.
“At this stage we are selling salt mostly for animal use, but if the new owners install a wash plant, then the salt would be suitable for industrial purposes and this would open up an even bigger market, as the demand is there.”
Meyer said that keen interest has been expressed in the salt company, by three possible investors. The international asking price is about US$3 million.
“The business reaps a very good net profit, on a turnover in excess of N$10 million per annum. Financial statements will be released to serious buyers, only.
“There is huge potential for the serious investor, but because of the price tag and the nature of this business concern, it will only appeal to someone who is familiar with the salt works’ process,” Meyer said.
“I have already taken interested clients to view the salt mine.”
Meyer explained that the land area of the salt company covers around 100 hectares and that although the salt mine is in production, it is not being utilised to its full capacity.
He said that there is a huge possibility for future expansion.
The list of assets is extensive, and comprises of a residence on the property, as well as a warehouse, a reverse osmosis plant, tanks, a bagging yard, worker accommodation and machines, among others.
“All the assets are included in the price, even some of the vehicles, and a full list will be drawn up between the seller and buyer, once the transaction is process,” Meyer said, before adding that the new owners will need to renew their mining permit, as prescribed by law.
Salt mined on a commercial scale in Namibia is approximately 0.33 percent of the worldwide production, which is secured through the process of sea water evaporation.
The global production of salt is estimated in excess of 210 million tons per annum, of which less than 6 percent is for human consumption.
The climate along the coast provides a conducive environment for rapid seawater evaporation, and there are six commercial salt mines operating along the coast, from Cape Cross to Walvis Bay, covering over 3 500 hectares in total.
Namibia is said to produce more than 400 000 tons of high quality salt annually.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015