The Tongaat Group Limited evolved from a partnership between Edward Saunders and W J Mirrlees, which dates back to 1875. On 7 September 1892 the partnership was incorporated into the Tongaat Sugar Company Limited in Pretoria, South Africa. In the years 1969 to 1970, the company, which had diversified into other businesses, was renamed the Tongaat Group Limited.

The Huletts Corporation Limited had its beginnings in the 1850s, with the original incorporation in 1892 as Sir J L Hulett and Sons, which changed its name to Huletts Sugar Corporation Limited and then to Huletts Corporation Limited. In 1962, Anglo American plc bought its first shares in the Tongaat Group Limited. Anglo American plc retained its investment in THG and held an interest of more than 50% in THG between 1998 and 2009.

The company, like many South African entities, was a diversified industrial business with interests in aluminium, building materials, consumer foods, cotton, edible oils, industrial and commercial catering, mushrooms, sugar and agricultural land development, starch and glucose, textiles and transport. Since the early 1990s the Group has systematically divested from a number of these businesses and refocused its operations, leveraging the synergies that exist between its agri-processing operations and prime agricultural land holdings.

It has demonstrated the ability to transform itself and capitalise on opportunities in changing business environments. The Tongaat-Hulett Group (THG) was formed in 1982 when the Tongaat Group Limited merged with Huletts Corporation Limited.

Capitalising on the investments in its operations and a solid platform of earnings growth, a strategic review of the Tongaat Hulett's Group's operations culminated in the announcement in 2006 of the proposed listing of Hulamin on the JSE and the Hulamin unbundling to create two separately listed, focused companies in 2007, namely:

  • Tongaat Hulett (TH), an agri-processing business which includes integrated components of land management, property development and agriculture; and
  • Hulamin, an independent niche producer of aluminium rolled, extruded and other semi-fabricated and finished products.

This was achieved by the listing of Hulamin on the JSE, followed immediately by the unbundling of the 50% shareholding in Hulamin by THG to its shareholders. It was accompanied by the simultaneous introduction of broad-based BEE equity participation in both TH and Hulamin.

On the implementation of the above transactions, Tongaat Hulett Group's name changed and is now known as, Tongaat Hulett Limited.

Tongaat Hulett has a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), which dates back to 1952, and a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), which dates back to 1939. It employs some 42 000 people, working in about 27 locations in 6 countries, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.