Implemented on 31 July 2020, Imperial disposed of its interest in its European shipping business to the Cologne-based Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln AG (HGK). The aggregate purchase price of EUR171 million (c.R3 440 million) was settled by HGK in full and in cash on the date of implementation. The shipping business is non-core to Imperial's strategic imperative – which is to grow our African footprint and reach, and position the group as the 'Gateway to Africa' in the medium to long term.
The proceeds from this sale were used to pay down existing debt in the short term and will be invested in new growth areas in line with our strategy in due course.
Progress has been made with the sale of the South American shipping business, which continues to operate on a standalone basis post the disposal of the European shipping business. We have entered bilateral discussions with a party and anticipate concluding this transaction by the end of June 2021.
The sale of Pharmed in South Africa to the Arrie Nel Pharmacy Group was concluded on 13 November 2020.
As communicated previously, the disposal of Pharmed does not represent our exit from the healthcare industry in South Africa but merely the exit from non-core wholesale activities. The high growth and resilient healthcare industry remains key to our 'Gateway to Africa' strategy and we remain committed to the many multi-national principals and clients we serve across the African continent. We will continue to serve such principals and clients through our logistics business – and through the ongoing expansion of our healthcare market access business in South Africa.