Brenn-O-Kem was started by the large German group, Benckiser, in 1968 to collect filter cakes from the Cape wine industry and produce tartaric acid for the German market. The late Chris du Toit, then chairman of Brenn-O-Kem, oversaw the plant that was originally the Waverley blanket factory outside of Wolseley. Some of the original buildings dating back to 1875, which were used to produce blankets during both the Anglo-Boer and First World Wars, are still in existence today.
Benckiser sold its share in the 70’s and Chris took over the company with other local shareholders, eventually becoming the sole shareholder in 1997. Chris passed away in 2001 and his sons, Kobus and Wynand, took over management until 2020.
In 2020 Sana Partners, a private equity fund focused on the middle market, invested alongside an experienced management team to acquire a majority stake. The du Toit family remain invested as minority shareholders.