Danie de Wet has resigned as chairman of South African drinks giant KWV, which is in the process of changing its name while unbundling its financial and operational interests.

The company has also sold off its grape juice concentrate plant in Upington to Orange River Wine Cellars (OWC) for ZAR70m (US$9.2m).

KWV will become KWV Holdings on 18 August and will be responsible for all operations, while KWV Investments, whose major income is derived from its Distell investment, becomes known as Capevin Holdings.

Investment management expert, Thys du Toit, takes over from De Wet, who has been a director since 1996 and chairman since 2004.

OWC, a co-operative, is KWV's sole supplier of juice to the concentrate plant. Selling it means KWV will be able to focus on its wine and brandy portfolios.

"We believe OWC will be in a better position to continue servicing our current customers," said KWV CEO Thys Loubser.