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Takura gets 3-year waiver for SAC interest


BY Melody Chikono
PRIVATE equity firm, Investors in Africa, Takura Ventures (Pvt) Limited and Takura III (Pvt) Limited, collectively known as Takura, has been granted a three-year waiver from making mandatory offer to shareholders pursuant to its acquisition of a controlling stake in starafricacorporation (SAC).

In November 2021, the company issued a cautionary statement advising its stakeholders that the majority shareholder was contemplating a transaction that could have a material  impact on the share price.

Takura reached an agreement earlier this year to acquire a 57,4% stake in sugar processor starafricacorporation from the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco).

The starafrica deal comes hard on the heels of the approval of Takura’s takeover of agro-processor Interfresh Limited, whose main asset is the Mazoe Citrus Estates.

“Investors in Africa — Takura Ventures (Pvt) Limited and Takura III (Pvt) limited (collectively ‘Takura’) has been  granted a waiver for a period of three years from making mandatory offer to shareholders pursuant to its acquisition of a ‘control block’ of starafricacorporation Limited (SAC) shares,” the company said in a statement yesterday, in which it also announced the withdrawal of the cautionary statement.

The company revealed that it had undergone two successive schemes of arrangement which were meant to provide time to expunge its debt obligations as well as to recapitalise the business.

While the expunging of the debt has largely been achieved, it said, the process to recapitalise the business was still work in progress.

The company also pointed out that Takura was in the process of assessing the capital expenditure required for the business and the best form of funding it with the possibility of approaching the market for a private placement and/or rights issue to finance capital expenditure which would alter the percentage shareholding of the different existing shareholders.

The sugar processor added that the board of directors had considered the proposed transaction, the majority shareholders stated strategy, its benefits to the company  and was confident that it could  work with the majority to realise its benefits.

“The board is of the opinion that the rationale for the proposed transaction is fair and is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders,” SAC said

The susgar processor has become the most traded stock on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange over the past three months, having traded a total volume of 2,78 billion shares valued at $4,96 billion over the period, with an average of 44,1 million traded shares per session as of December 10, 2021.

A volume high of 2,76 billion was achieved on September 15, and a low of 12 100 on November 1, for the same period.

The private fund’s interest in the consumer goods segment keeps growing following its acquisition of Cairns Foods and breadmaker Lobels, which it has nursed back to health over the past few years. Takura also holds the Zimbabwe franchise for Food Lovers Market and is a significant shareholder in the Avenues and Montague clinics.

Zamco was created by the central bank in 2014 to buy toxic assets from banks in a bid to lower a bad loan ratio that peaked at 20,45% that September.

SAC was one of the debt-distressed firms, whose US$32 million loans, owed to several banks, were taken over by Zamco.

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