Meik­les UAE deal falls through, no de-lisit­ing

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Tawanda Karombo

ZIM­BAB­WEAN con­glom­er­ate, Meik­les, is no-longer pur­su­ing a de-list­ing of its shares from the Zim­babwe Stock Ex­change (ZSE) after it said yes­ter­day that a deal by an in­vestor to ac­quire a con­trol­ling stake in the com­pany had failed to ma­te­ri­alise.

Meik­les is one of Zim­babwe’s old­est cor­po­ra­tions with in­ter­ests in city and re­sort ho­tels, agro-pro­cess­ing and re­tail­ing. It has a part­ner­ship in Zim­babwe’s TM Su­per­mar­kets to­gether with Pick n Pay, with some stores now car­ry­ing the South African gro­cer’s brand.

United Arab Emi­rates-based Alb­wardy In­vest­ment had been con­firmed as the po­ten­tial suitor for Meik­les. The UAE hold­ing com­pany had with­drawn its of­fer to pur­chase a con­trol­ling stake.

“Alb­wardy has in­formed Meik­les that it is with­draw­ing its in­ter­est in ac­quir­ing a ma­jor­ity stake in the com­pany. Ac­cord­ingly, share­hold­ers are be­ing ad­vised that the cau­tion that was placed on trad­ing in the com­pany’s shares has now been lifted,” Tha­bani Mpofu, sec­re­tary for Meik­les said.

This prompted Meik­les to lift a cau­tion­ary on trade in its shares on the ZSE. Alb­wardy has in­ter­ests rang­ing from food dis­tri­bu­tion, re­tail, con­struc­tion, ship­yards to hospi­tal­ity and ho­tels.

Meik­les has long mulled ex­it­ing the ZSE after its stock was tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended from the bourse. The de­ci­sion to sus­pend its stock was premised on al­le­ga­tions that the com­pany had over­stated a debt it was owed by the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe.

In the year to end March this year, Meik­les posted an im­proved pre-tax profit of $5.3 mil­lion (R70.4m) com­pared to a $17.8m loss in the prior year.

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