Barloworld Limited

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Barloworld Limited
Public (JSE: BAW)
Industry Conglomerate
Founded 1902
Founder Ernest (Billy) Barlow
Headquarters Sandton, South Africa
Key people

Clive Thomson — CEO;
Don Wilson — CFO;

Dumisa Ntsebeza — Chairman
Services Motor vehicle dealerships car rental industrial equipment logistics
Revenue R20.2 Billion(FY 2010)
R528 Million(FY 2010)[1]
Number of employees
19,745 [2]

Barloworld Limited is an industrial brand management company, founded in South Africa. Once a large conglomerate with many unrelated businesses, ranging at various times from mining, information technology and building materials to motor vehicles, it has repositioned itself as an industrial brand management company and unbundled many of its assets. Its headquarters are at the sprawling Barlow Park campus in Sandton, Johannesburg. It had been sponsor of the Barloword cycling team.


Bbarloworld was founded in Durban by Major Ernest (Billy) Barlow in 1902, selling wool products, and later engineering equipment. It was expanded by his son Charles Sydney (Punch) Barlow who expanded into the sale and service of Caterpillar products. Barlow entered the motor business, and eventually expanded into the manufacture of cement, paint, stainless steel and household appliances, as well as mining, through the acquisition of Rand Mines Limited, with the new company called Barlow Rand.


The group's subsidiaries include Barloworld Automotive, Barloworld Handling, Barloworld Logistics and Barloworld Equipment. Barloworld unbundled its interests in Pretoria Portland Cement and Barloworld Coatings (best known for the Plascon brand) in 2007.[3] In March 2005, Barloworld bought Avis Southern Africa acquiring full ownership of the company.


Barloworld Handling Ltd v. Unilift South Wales Ltd[edit]

On 24 March 2009, Barloworld Handling Ltd applied under s.69(1) Companies Act 2006 for a change of name for the company called Unilift South Wales Ltd.

Barloworld Handling Ltd argued that since they already acquired a company called Unilift Ltd, Unilift South Wales Ltd should change their name as Unilift Ltd had goodwill and reputation for the marketing, hiring and servicing of fork lift trucks in Swansea and Cardiff. The problems came from the fact of Unilift South Wales Ltd marketing similar products to those marketed by Unilift Ltd and as evidence of confusion, Unilift Ltd had received invoices intended for Unilift South Wales Ltd.

Barloworld Handling Ltd represented to the Company Names Tribunal that Unilift South Wales Ltd was passing off as Unilift Ltd and so they should be ordered to change their name so that there is nothing even similar to Unilift in their name or trading name.

The litigation was struck out because the Adjudicator found that the respondent had already registered its name on 18 December 2007 and was operating and had not registered a similar name to the applicant's for the purpose of trying to extort money or to prevent them from registering the name themselves. The Tribunal is there to hear complaints that respondents have been opportunistic but they do not decide on claims in the tort of passing off.[4]


  1. ^ Barloworld interim results 31 March 2010
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Barloworld Website. "Corporate History". Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  4. ^ Barloworld Handling Ltd v. Unilift South Wales Ltd Archived November 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 19 September 2014