West Star to list on ZSE

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West Star yesterday said it will list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in the next 14 months through an initial public offering (IPO) after starafrica failed to meet the deadline for transferring 100% shares in Redstar Holdings.

At least $200 000 will be spent on the listing. An IPO is the first sale of stock by a company to the public.
West Star chief executive Ken Sharpe said the company opted for a fresh listing after starafrica failed to sell Redstar Holdings to them.

The agreed method for fresh listing is by means of an introduction which will allow West Star to become a 100% public listed company, Sharpe said.

We have agreed how to do this process which is purely a technical one and will take approximately 12 to 14 months to get us to a position of an IPO.

He said in the interim period, West Star would in the next six weeks offer shares to customers that would have spent $1 000.

At least 2 000 gold card customers are set to benefit from the exercise.

The company will be offering 20 million shares to customers.

This will effectively give a secondary market pool for this class of shares where they will be traded privately within the pool until the full IPO, which at that point they will be fully tradeable on the ZSE, Sharpe said.

West Star was supposed to list on the ZSE after having received a transfer of 100% shares in Redstar Holdings Ltd in October last year from starafrica.
The date was extended to December but, starafrica again failed to meet the deadline.

He said the company had the full support of the ZSE and had secured listing partners in Ernst& Young as auditors and Grant Thornton accountants.
New Africa are the sponsoring brokers while Atherstone & Cook are the legal advisers.

West Star has so far invested $1,5 million in the group and is set to invest more during the year.

The margins in wholesale are very low and we have experienced fierce competition from traditional wholesalers who felt threatened by the return of West Star, but we are confident that our customers will continue to support us, Sharpe said.