Fred Botha appointed CEO of Insimbi

With the imminent retirement of Pieter Schutte as the Chief Executive Officer of JSE listed Insimbi Refractory and Alloy Supplies Limited the Insimbi Board has announced that current Commercial and Financial Director Fred Botha has been appointed as the new CEO of the company, effective 1 June 2017.

“Fred and I have worked together closely since he joined the company in 2002,” said Schutte, who is set to retire at the end of November 2017 but has agreed to provide consulting services to Insimbi as and when required beyond his official retirement.

“Along with Langham Carter and Danny O’Connor, both since retired, as well as Colin Botha, Eddy Liechti, Fred and myself, we formed an executive management team that initially acquired a 33% stake in a management buyout of Metallurg SA (Pty) Ltd from the American owners back in 2003.We listed in March 2008, initially on the JSE AltX board, before migrating to the Non-Ferrous Industrial Metals sector on the Main Board of the JSE in January 2012.”

“Fred’s qualifications include a BCom (UCT) and BCompt (Hons) (UNISA) and he qualified as a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) after completing his articles with Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). Fred’s experience includes both financial and operational positions in South Africa, Malawi and Zambia.”

“Fred worked in Malawi for four years from 1993 to 1997 in a large trading operation as Group Financial Controller and Group Operations Director. From 1997 to 2002 he worked in Zambia in a large basic foodstuff manufacturing and agriculture trading operation as Group Commercial Director, prior to joining Metallurg (now Insimbi Alloy Supplies (Pty) Ltd as Commercial Director in January 2002. Metallurg rebranded as Insimbi in 2005 and has subsequently diversified into aluminium, plastics and metal recycling.”

“In addition to being Group Commercial Director, Fred has also been the Group Financial Director since April 2014.”

“Since our listing in 2008, Fred has been instrumental in driving and overseeing the group’s acquisitive growth. These include the acquisition of:

– Insimbi Alumnium Alloys (Pty) Ltd (ex-Future Alloys) an aluminium secondary smelter in Johannesburg in 2008

– Global Materials our ex agents in Atlantis, Cape Town in 2009

– Metlite Alloys (Pty) Ltd in Cape Town in 2010, also a secondary aluminium smelter

– Polydrum (Pty) Ltd a blow moulding business that manufactures plastic containers for the chemical, agricultural and food industries acquired in August 2015, and more recently

– The Amalgamated Group, a large metal recycling specialist based in Gauteng, in December 2016.”

“These acquisitions listed above have resulted in a much larger and more diversified industrial group than the original company that was very much focused on alloy and refractory offerings.”

Different company
“Insimbi is no longer the company it was when we first listed in 2008. The company has changed even more since our JSE main board listing in 2012,” said new CEO Fred Botha.

“Our roots stem back to US company Metallurg Inc when the company established a South African office in 1970. At the time the company’s interests were centered around mining and the marketing of products such as grain refiners, tungsten carbide powders, ferro molybdenum, ferro titanium and welding powders. The company also represented companies who produced products such as inoculants, nodulisers and calcium silicide,” continued Botha.

“Initially the offices were located in the centre of Johannesburg before moving to Wadeville in 1984 where they are still located today.”

“The core business subsequently changed dramatically over the years with the company concentrating on supplying ferroalloys to the steel and aluminium industries, including foundries, and supplying refractory materials.”

“When our management buy-out took place in 2003 one of the requirements of the buyout was that the company would cease to use the Metallurg name two years after the MBO. As a result we changed its name to Insimbi Alloy Supplies (Pty) Ltd in 2005.”

“We chose the name Insimbi as it reflected the nature of the business at the time and as it is today. It is the Zulu word for metal, which is durable and long-lasting.”

“The name was specifically chosen to reflect our pride in our South African roots and signified our commitment to creating a truly broad-based black empowerment (BBBEE) company that offers equal opportunities to all our employees and illustrates our commitment to the social upliftment of all South Africans regardless of race, religion and gender.”

“This commitment has been enhanced during the last financial year under review, which saw the conclusion of a deal that brought Insimbi’s BBBEE ownership to over 28%. In June last year, the four remaining founding executive directors of Insimbi sold equal portions of their shareholding – representing 52 million shares and equivalent to 20% of the issued share capital to black owned and managed investment holding company New Seasons Investment.”

“Over the years, the core business of Insimbi has expanded and today the company has ten separate divisions that operate from its Wadeville, Germiston head office, as well as branches in Cape Town and Durban. In addition the group also has three independent manufacturing companies.”

“The listed entity – Insimbi Refractory and Alloy Supplies Limited – oversees the various divisions that include a refractory division that services the steel industry’s refractory requirements, specialty division that services the welding and optical industries, a steel division that services the steel industry’s raw material requirements, the foundry division that services the foundry industry, the non-ferrous division that services the aluminium industry, the rotary division which services the cement industry’s refractory requirements, the mechanical division that addresses the maintenance needs of primarily, rotary kilns and ancillary equipment in the cement, lime and DRI industry, the powder coating division that services the metals finishing industry, the export division that focuses on the company’s expansion into Africa and the rest of the world and the fibers division that supplies fiber into the construction industry.”

“Essentially Insimbi’s business revolves around supplying alloys, raw materials and other ancillary products that are critical to the manufacturing process in the various industries. These products are sourced locally and internationally or manufactured by one of our divisions. For example, the various aluminium products in the form of aluminium pellets, ingots and other shapes.”

“However, with the acquisition of Polydrum, a manufacturer that specialises in the blow moulding of plastic containers for the chemical, agricultural and food industries, it showed management’s commitment not to be reliant just on the foundry, steel, refractory and cement industries. The added bonus of acquiring this business was the numerous synergies that it has with Insimbi’s existing customer portfolio.”

“Before our listing growth was solely organic in nature. Once listed, we could capitalise on the organic growth in our industries, as well as have the capital to make suitable mergers and acquisitions. Our previous shareholders didn’t necessarily support that type of expansion, nor could we necessarily raise the capital. We’d identified the opportunity but needed capital.”

“During the last financial year the company underwent significant changes in its market capitalisation, size and complexity with the acquisition of Amalgamated Metals Recycling. This is a transaction that further diversifies the group’s geographic reach, customer base and solutions to customers.”

“Instability in South African politics, as well as volatile international markets are likely to result in a challenging environment in the future. The downgrade of South Africa’s sovereign debt has been realised, with further downgrades anticipated. This has had a serious knock-on effect with the inevitable downgrade of all banks and state owned entities.”

“2017 is likely to continue to be a challenging year on all fronts, with little evidence of a pick-up in the construction or steel markets, although there seems to be some positive sentiment in the cement industry. Although the effect of a restructuring of the cement industry, which is anticipated over the next few months, on our business is not clear, the business is prepared and well diversified to manage the impact.”

“The group is now on a more diversified, stable platform that is able to withstand the headwinds facing the various industries that we serve. We are starting to reach critical mass. The recent acquisition has lifted Insimbi into a strategic position and turned a R1 billion a year company into a R3 billion a year company.”

“Pieter has been the CEO of Insimbi since our listing in 2008. During his remaining tenure Pieter will be focusing on the consolidation of Insimbi’s position as a leading refractory supplier. Prior to joining the company in 1996, Pieter worked for Vereeniging Refractories Proprietary Limited in its Research and Technical Department and later as a Technical Sales Representative and then for Cullinan Refractories Proprietary Limited as its Export Sales Manager. Pieter will be involved in the recruitment, induction and mentorship of skilled technical people to ensure that the refractory segment of the company continues to be a leader in its field in the future.”

For more information contact Insimbi Group of Companies on TEL: 011 902 6930 or visit the website