RARE Holdings invest in pipe manufacturing plant

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PHOTO: Wally van Coller of RARE group was formerly involved in pipe production at DPI. Tony Dean, who is well-known in plastic pipe industry, has been appointed MD of the RARE Plastics

RARE Holdings has purchased the assets of an HDPE pipe extrusion business at Meyerton near Vereeniging and commenced production, marking its entry to the plastic pipe manufacturing sector.

The plant was formerly run by the First Tech group company Flexicon, of Witbank, but ceased production after the First Tech implosion last year.

In a R30.9-million investment, RARE purchased the production assets and structured the business to recommence production. It has employed Tony Dean, formerly MD of Flo-Tek Pipe, Tanks & Irrigation of Olifantsfontein, to run the plant.

The development effectively means that some of the pipe capacity lost in the First Tech fallout – when both the First Tech group companies involved in the sector, Flexicon and Gazelle Plastics, shut doors – is re-entering the market.

RARE is a distributor and service provider of piping and related products covering the entire fluid conveyance cycle. It evolved through management buyout and acquisitions from a specialist pipe supplier in 1975 through to the listed entity, RARE Holdings in 2007 and ultimately the current B-BBEE-accredited and transformed RARE Group.

This deal includes the acquisition of the plant, fixed assets and property in Meyerton, which will enable the company to manufacture HDPE pipe up to 1000mm in diameter for the mining, infrastructure, agricultural and industrial markets. This will be RARE’s first venture into pipe manufacturing.

The new division will trade under the name RARE Plastics. Dean previously managed some well-known plastic pipe businesses in South Africa and Botswana and comes with over 30 years' industry experience.

According to the CEO of RARE Holdings, Wally van Coller, this acquisition will improve RARE's competitiveness in offering piping solutions to the industry by supplying a turnkey service ranging from manufacturing through installation and maintenance.

RARE's main activities will remain in Kliprivier while RARE Plastics will manufacture the HDPE pipe in Meyerton.

  • RARE has evolved through a management buyout and acquisitions from a specialist pipe supplier in 1975 through to the listed entity, RARE Holdings, in 2007 and ultimately to the current B-BBEE-accredited and transformed RARE Group.

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