Econet to acquire 6 EcoCash’s fintech firms

In a cautionary statement yesterday, Econet said EcoCash’s financial technology business would be under its wings.

ECONET Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZL) Limited will acquire six non-bank assets of EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe Limited (EHZL) as it seeks to diversify its business.

The two companies announced last month that EcoCash’s non-bank assets would be transferred to Econet in return for the telecom firm’s shares.

In a cautionary statement yesterday, Econet said EcoCash’s financial technology business would be under its wings.

“Further to the cautionary announcement dated 16 January 2024, shareholders are advised that Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited and EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe Limited, being companies under the same control, are engaged in negotiations that may result in the transfer to Econet of the following financial technology businesses: EcoCash (Private) Limited, VAYA Technologies Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, Econet Insurance (Private) Limited, Econet Life (Private) Limited, MARS Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, and Maisha Health Fund (Private) Limited in exchange for Econet shares that may be distributed to the EcoCash Holdings Limited Shareholders on pro rata basis,” EWZL said in a cautionary statement.

EWZL said the envisaged ‘scheme of reconstruction’ would not result in the delisting of EHZL or EWZL.

“Accordingly, shareholders are advised to continue exercising caution when dealing in the company’s securities until a full announcement is made,” EWZL said.

EWZL’s acquisition of EHZL’s fintech business comes as the former has lost US$5,47 million on its market capitalisation.

At the end of 2022, telecommunication firm, EWZL, had a market capitalisation of US$364,45 million in real terms on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

However, by the end of last year,  EWZL’s market capitalisation had dropped to US$358,98 million owing to a sharp depreciation of the local currency.

EWZL’s listed shares on the ZSE were affected as the bourse uses the Zimbabwe dollar as its currency of trade.

While last year saw the market capitalisation of EWZL having a slight dip in real terms, the firm has seen interest in its shares since the beginning of the year.

This came because of investors increasing their trades in stable counters such as EWZL to hedge against the depreciation of the local currency that had lost 75,38% of its value by yesterday, year to date.

As of yesterday, EWZL’s market capitalisation was US$666,49 million from the end of last year, an increase of nearly 86%.

EWZL’s purchase of non-banking assets from EHZL could see the latter’s market capitalisation declining significantly as it had a valuation of US$168,43 million as of yesterday.

This acquisition comes six years after the EWZL had split and created EHZL to unlock shareholder value.

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