By Alois Vinga
A NETHERLANDS-based company is currently engaged in negotiations which if successful will enable it to acquire a 50% stake in an Ariston Holdings Limited (AHL) subsidiary.
AHL is a diversified agro-industrial concern listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) with business interests that span a variety of crops including tea, macadamia nuts, bananas, apples, peaches, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, maize, soya beans.
It is also involved in poultry and cattle rearing.
In an update Thursday, AHL company secretary, Acquiline Chinamo revealed the company was set to cede half of its stake in the Claremont Orchards Holdings.
“Further to previous cautionary announcements made, shareholders and the investing public are hereby advised that the company is negotiating the disposal of 50% of its shareholding in Claremont Orchards Holdings (Private) Limited to a Netherlands-based private company, Tuinbouw Zonder Grenzen B.V,” she said.
If successful, the transaction will enable Ariston Holdings to receive cash for its 50% equity. This cash will be utilised to further extend the group’s investment in macadamia nuts and avocado for the export market.
“Further, after the entry of the Netherlands-based company, offshore funding will be available and utilised to plant new orchards with new export-oriented fruit varieties. Claremont will receive investment of over US$5 million over the next three years,” said Chinamo.
Details to the proposed transaction show Ariston Holdings’ dilution in Claremont Orchards Holdings will be limited to 50% despite the large funding that will flow into the businesses.
The development comes at a time when the country has been commended by reputable institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank among many other local economic players for implementing sound economic reforms.