The global economic crisis brings strange stories in its wake. Such as this one about a cigarette price war in Germany, a country where the government tries to raise the “entrance barrier” for young smokers by making cigarettes more expensive. [Read on]
There just seems to be no end to this guy’s fabulous career!
If I must select a “Most successful SA businessman on the global stage”, I’d probably choose Jan du Plessis – ahead of SABMiller’s Graham Mackay, Richemont’s Johann Rupert and Naspers’ Koos Bekker.**
…and you haven’t even heard of the guy? Maybe, because he’s been living abroad for so long and seems to go out of his way to keep a low profile.
Jan du Plessis is the chairman of British American Tobacco (BAT), and sits on the boards of Marks & Spencer, Lloyds and Rio Tinto.
Click his tag, for more about this Stellenbosch University (US) graduate and ex-Carnival chairman of the early 70′s (even in that role he was the most successful the US ever had).
As if he hasn’t got enough to do, he was “promoted” twice in the last two days.
Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto appointed him as its new board chairperson (the appointment to take effect from the end of the company’s annual meeting on April 20). And then he was appointed senior independent director at Lloyds Banking Group, which “hands him the delicate task of balancing the interests of government and City shareholders. Du Plessis is expected to take up the position at Lloyds after the bank’s annual meeting in May,” the Sunday Telegraph reported.
Here is a nice summary of all his current and previous jobs! And even a rare photo.
Fin24 also reported.
** Quiz of the day: Of these four, three studied at the University of Stellenbosch. Name the odd one out.
Who is Cambodia’s biggest tobacco exporter?
Answer: British American Tobacco.
You don’t believe me? Read here. (Half-way down the page.)
To: Jan du Plessis, chairman of British American Tobacco (BAT)
I would like to appeal to you not to sell the BATartventure (formerly the Peter Stuyvesant Collection) housed in Zevenaar, Holland. It would be such a pity to lose this bit of Anton Rupert-inspired history.
Read all about the collection (and the future it faces) here.
Could one not “use” the already well-known collection for a good purpose (and get some marketing mileage out of it for BAT at the same time)?
Private museums have been such moneypinners of late (at least here in Germany). Surely it must be possible to manage the collection in a profitable way? A profit which can be donated to one of the many good causes around – such as AIDS orphans in Southern Africa.
Whether it is so important that the collection should stay in Zevenaar, or be linked to Zevenaar, I’m not so sure. My gut tells me it is not. At issue is the art, not the place.
So, the collection could also be moved to, for instance, Stellenbosch. Or, it could be a travelling collection.
Whatever. But, let’s hold on to this piece of Rupertana.
My story about BAT’s court room claim to get about 1.2 billion pound sterling repaid by the UK tax authorities, reminded me of BAT’s recent announcement that it would build a huge financial services centre in Rumania (250 jobs to be created) and got me thinking how far away all of this was from the days Willem Malherbe walked from Greek cafe to Greek cafe in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, putting up Peter Stuyvesant posters on walls and befriending owners.
Those were the small, first steps towards the global giant which BAT is today.
A UK court ruled in favour of British American Tobacco (BAT) in a “tax on dividends” case, bringing BAT closer to a fat 1.2 billion pound sterling pay-out by the UK government, Reuters UK reported a few days ago.
This is what Reuters wrote: The UK Government may have to pay out billions of pounds to companies, after a landmark ruling by the High Court on the taxation of foreign dividends. Following a claim by British American Tobacco, the court decided the Treasury’s system of tax relief for dividends paid to the UK from EU-based companies was in breach of European legislation. The tobacco company said the judgement could lead to the recovery of 1.2 billion pounds, subject to future review by European Courts.
Experts warned it might take “several years” for the case to close finally.
…is about British American Tobacco.
First read this – then this.
The unbundling of BAT worked for Richemont, judged by share price movements on the first day of trading as a “pure luxury play”. This Reuters article just for the record.