where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2020-10-18 15:02:06  

The Kzn and South Africa Business legend Chris Saunders has passed on last night after a long illness. Steeped in racing and breeding he formed numerous partnerships in both business and racing via his horse ownership and Invermooi Stud. One his most significant breeding partnerships was with another business pioneer in the late Richard Maponya.

Saunders, an ex-Gold Circle Chairman, led Gold Circle through some interesting times in the 2000's. He was always open and willing to discuss racing. On a personal level our management had numerous fruitful discussions with Mr Saunders on so many racing levels. His legacy is also safe with a prominent park being named after him in one of the country's most prominent districts in Umhlanga directly opposite the world famous Gateway Mall in Durban.

His business claim to fame was Chairmanship of the Tongaat Hullett Group. The story went, "In a long and bitter stock exchange battle, Hulett was successful in his bid, but no sooner had he acquired Natal Estates, when his own company, Sir J L Hulett & Sons, was taken over by a consortium of the C G Smith Group and the Tongaat Sugar Company."

The company name was retained but the Hulett family largely disappeared from the business and the guiding hand became that of Chris Saunders, who was one of the major players in the successful acquisition of Huletts. He succeeded Ross Armstrong and became Chairman of both Huletts and Tongaat.

A left handed golfer he enjoyed much time at his Mt Edgecombe Golf Estate, sugar cane land once owned by his company.

RIP Mr Saunders.  

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