The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has suspended the trading of shares of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe Limited (Lafarge) on a voluntary basis to allow it to deal with the challenges facing the business.
This follows the execution of a sale and purchase agreement between Associated International Cement Limited and Fossil Mines (Private) Limited for a 76.45% shareholding in Lafarge.
In a statement, ZSE said it had requested Lafarge to provide a roadmap on how it aims to resolve the challenges the business is facing.
“The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Limited (ZSE) hereby notifies the investing public of the voluntary suspension from trading in shares of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe Limited (Lafarge) with effect from 13 January 2023,” the bourse said.
“The suspension is for a period of three months to allow Lafarge to attend to material developments within its operations post the execution of a sale and purchase agreement between Associated International Cement Limited and Fossil Mines (Private) Limited for a 76.45% shareholding in Lafarge.”
The bourse added that at Lafarge's request, it sought and was granted permission to suspend trading in its shares by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe pursuant to the provisions of Section 64(a) (ii) of the Securities and Exchange Act [Cap 24:25].
In terms of Section 9 of the ZSE Listings Requirements, the company should continue to discharge its obligations to the shareholders and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange during the suspension.
ZSE said investors will not be able to buy or sell Lafarge shares during the suspension period.
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The purchase of Lafarge by Fossil Mines has been frustrated by sanctions imposed on Fossil Mines under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act.
Last month, Fossil Agro, Fossil Contracting and the group’s chief executive officer Obey Chimuka were added to the United States’ sanctions list due to alleged links with a previously sanctioned business tycoon, Kudakwashe Tagwirei, and his company, Sakunda Holdings.
Meanwhile, Lafarge on Friday advised that it was changing its name.
“The board of directors of La“farge Cement Zimbabwe Limited (the company) would like to inform shareholders and valued stakeholders that following the exit of Associated International Cement Limited from the business, the company will now be trading as (t/a) Khayah Cement pending finalisation of the registration of the trade name by the registrar of companies,” Lafarge said
“The company added that it was also reconstituting the composition of the board of directors as well as the necessary board committees.
“In this latter regard, the announcement of the relevant appointments will be made shortly.
“The public is advised that these processes will have no material effect on either the quality or availability of any of the company’s range of products as well as its overall operations.”