AIM-listed LonZim Plc, Lonrho’s Zimbabwe investment vehicle, Monday announced it had raised £4 987 904 or $7 862 632 for working capital from a private placement of 17 813 944 new ordinary shares with new and existing institutions and shareholders at a price of 28 pence per share.
The money will be ploughed into its existing operations in Zimbabwe where it plans to raise a further $5 million for capital expenditure through a rights issue expected this year.
LonZim hopes to acquire new interests in high-growth industries and state-owned enterprises in which government plans a roll-back and expand its portfolio of investments beyond four, taking advantage of new opportunities springing out of Zimbabwe’s recovery.
“LonZim is reporting strong growth in turnover as the economy in Zimbabwe shows signs of recovering,” Lonrho executive chairman David Lenigas said.
“This placement to existing and new institutions will enable the company to continue to benefit from the opportunities for growth within Zimbabwe. LonZim remains confident that Zimbabwe has great economic potential for recovery and that forecast recovery in the agricultural, mineral and tourism sectors is becoming evident.”
Lonrho Plc has followed its rights and maintained its 24,61% stake in LonZim.
The new shares may be admitted on AIM this year, raising LonZim’s total issued share capital to 54,145,469 ordinary shares, and representing approximately 32,9% of its new issued share capital.
LonZim’s portfolio of Zimbabwe interests includes Celsys Limited Zimbabwe (60%), ForgetMeNot Africa Limited Zimbabwe (51%), Paynet Zimbabwe (Private) Limited Zimbabwe (100%), Leopard Rock Hotel Company (Private) Limited Zimbabwe (100%), Millpal Chemicals (Private) Limited Zimbabwe (100%) and Fly540 Zimbabwe (Private) Limited Zimbabwe (90%).
Amstel Securities, an investment research firm based in Netherlands, predicts that a majority of LonZim’s Zimbabwe subsidiaries will be “cash-flow positive by the end of calendar year 2010”.