MEIKLES Limited yesterday pulled a shocker when it announced plans to delist from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).
Company secretary Mr Thabani Mpofu cautioned shareholders dealing with Meikles shares to tread carefully saying the giant firm was seized with discussions that could lead to delisting.
“The directors of Meikles Limited wish to advise shareholders that the company is currently engaged in discussions on a transaction that may have material impact on the value of the company’s shares,” said Mr Mpofu.
“The transaction relates to a possible offer to minorities and subsequent delisting of the company from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in line with section 9 of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Listing Requirements.”
The firm initially hinted on plans to delist from ZSE in 2015, following a spat with the local bourse over the manner it handled the company’s suspension from trading. As per the normal delisting process, Meikles could be working on a process to acquire shares held by minority shareholders.
Meikles was suspended from trading on the ZSE on February 16, 2015 over allegations that the group had overstated the debt it is owed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
The group had reported a $2,8 million loss for the half-year ended September 30 but said it was owed about $90 million by the central bank, a debt that had accrued since 1998 from transactions related to the group’s dual listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
At that time group chairman Mr John Moxon was quoted in a statement saying: “Meikles will be addressing the implications of the suspension, the manner in which it has been implemented and whether there is any purpose to a listing on the ZSE”.
Analysts say the decision to delist is most probably driven by the need to search for a better value elsewhere since the company has failed to realise value on the local bourse, The Source reported. Meikles used to be among the giants on the ZSE but has since lost value.
Part of Section 9 of the ZSE’s listing requirements reads: “9.1 The circular to the offer company’s shareholders (if consideration is more than 30 percent of the offer or company’s share capital and realised reserves) should contain the following information: 9.1.1 The effect of the takeover on the company’s earnings per share and net asset value; 9.1.2 Future prospects of the company;……….126.96.36.199 a letter shall be sent to the ZSE stating whether or not the conditions of the offer have been fulfilled and furnishing particulars of the percentage of acceptance and of the number of shares acquired; 188.8.131.52 the circular giving notice of the invoking of Section 194 together with the application for the suspension and subsequent termination of the listing must be submitted for approval to the ZSE.”
Major shareholders of Meikles include Gondor Capital investment, Old Mutual Assurance and Clayway Investments which hold 47,42 percent, 6,89 percent and 5,05 percent respectively.