SAB Ltd, the South African unit of brewing giant SABMiller, has sold a stake in a closures company to a group supporting disadvantaged black South African citizens.

SAB Ltd today (13 April) said it had sold a 40% stake in Coleus Packaging, South Africa's biggest producer of metal bottle closures, for around ZAR30m to Nokusa Consortium, a black empowerment group.

The brewer bought Coleus in 2003 and committed itself to selling a 40% stake in a black empowerment deal. The agreement means Nokusa will be involved in strategic decision-making at Coleus and have the right to appoint two directors to the company's five-man board.

Coleus produces around 4.9bn bottle tops a year for the brewing and bottling industries in Southern Africa. In the year to 31 March 2005, the company reported a turnover of around ZAR132m (US$21.5m).

Moss Hadebe, chairman of the Nokusa Consortium, said: "We welcome our partnership with SAB and believe that our input into operations and strategy formulation will benefit all parties. This direct strategic and operational involvement sets a welcome trend in black economic empowerment transactions."

Tony van Kralingen, SAB Ltd MD, added: "Nokusa members are highly skilled professionals who have a diverse range of skills and expertise in the FMCG, packaging and manufacturing industries, as well as experience in operating in the rest of Africa. They will be an excellent partner for the business and we look forward to working with them."