Venture bought by BEE business consortium


PHOTO: The new owners of Venture Plastics, the Wadeville convertor, include investors Frans Baleni, Mike Teke and Theo du Toit; seen here with John Konyn, new MD of the business                                                                                 PHOTO:  LOWRIE SHARP

VENTURE Plastics, the diversified converting business in Wadeville, has been purchased by a consortium involving an equally varied group of individuals with BEE and established business acumen credentials.

Started by Geoff Watson in 1987, Venture is involved in injection moulding, extrusion and thermoforming, one of the relatively few SA convertors to engage in multiple processing technologies. It previously also operated a blow moulding division, which has recently been sold off. Watson decided to exit the scene during 2017 and the smoke signals eventually drew the attention of the partners involved in the consortium, Mike Teke, Theo du Toit, Merwen Mellett and John Konyn.

Teke, who is a past president of the Chamber of Mines, is the majority shareholder. Du Toit, former owner of East Rand Plastics, is a well-known investor in the wider industry with investments in several converting businesses in Gauteng, including the Plastiprofile and Nylopack operations in nearby Roodekop. Konyn is MD of Plastiprofile and will be the new MD of Venture.

Originally from Kwathema, Springs, Teke started out as a teacher and then moved into HR and worked with several major groups, including Unilever, Bayer, BHP Billiton and Impala Platinum. His career quite literally went exponential from there and he has been working with a wide group of companies in the mining and commodities areas.

According to Watson, the time had come for him to “hand over the baton”.

“Paramount in my thinking was the well-being of all stakeholders, with employees, customers and suppliers heading the list. In order to achieve this, coupled with the growing need for a responsible BEE component, I believe we have found a perfect fit and balance in the new owners.

“Venture’s existing management team has a long and successful track record in the plastics industry (and others) and will continue to grow the company. They intend trading under the name of Venture to ensure continuity with a seamless hand-over. The new entity should obtain a BEE level 2 contributor status that will assist customers in their business endeavours,” added Geoff.

Venture’s GM, Steve Coetzer, a man with considerable experience across a range of converting technologies, is to continue in his present position, working in cooperation with the company’s management team.

The sale became effective on 1 March.