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Interfresh to delist from stock exchange
11/12/2013 00:00:00
by The Source
Interfresh delists from stock exchange
Interfresh laments Mazoe Citrus land loss

INTERFRESH shareholders on Wednesday voted to delist from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to enable the company to raise $6 million capital through valuation methods, although the company is targeting relisting in five years.

The horticulture concern has been struggling to remain afloat after the company lost almost 1,600 hectares of its premier asset – the Mazoe Citrus Estates – to the government’s land redistribution programme, resulting in Interfresh writing off $5.6 million.

Acting board chairperson, Melina Matshiya told shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) that the delisting had been necessitated by the discounted rate at which the company’s shares were trading at, making it difficult to raise capital.

As at Wednesday, the company’s shares traded at 0.50 cents per share.

“The company needs to raise equity capital and convertible debt from private equity and structured finance markets using valuation methods other than the stock market,” she said.

The motion was put to vote and all shareholders present who constituted nearly 90 percent of the total shares in issue voted in favour of delisting.

Raising equity capital at current valuation has proved limiting for the company and its rights offer to get $3 million in July was 57.3 percent subscribed, with the underwriter having to purchase the remaining shares.

Chief executive Lishon Chipango said the company was in discussions with potential investors, but there was timeframe to the talks.

“The key thing is that we will now be using valuations other than stock market valuations. They are higher so the effect of dilution will be that much limited,” he said in response to questions from journalists.

The rights offer to raise the $3 million caused a dilution of 75 percent using the stock market valuations whereas other valuations would have reduced the dilution to 15 percent, Chipango said.

Interfresh was incorporated in 1953 to ripen and distribute bananas from its Mozambique plantations before listing on the ZSE in 1997.


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