DIVERSIFED agro-processor United Refineries Limited (URL) is repositioning itself in the market on the back of growing business as it moves towards initial public offering grade.
“The latest thinking in United Refineries as the company repositions itself in the market place and prepares for the initial public offering, which is also called a listing in the next three years, the board and management believes the customer is at the centre of our plans,” URL chief executive officer, Mr Busisa Moyo, said.
Initial public offering (IPO) refers to a process of floating shares or going public in which a privately owned company is transformed into a public company.
IPOs are usually used to raise new equity capital for a concerned firm or monetising investments of private shareholders such as company founders or private equity investors to enable easy trading of existing holdings.
The Bulawayo-based firm has been on an aggressive drive since 2012, after suffering semi-shut-down, and recently increased capacity and added numerous lines to its product mix with latest being mealie-meal and vegetable juice.
Two weeks ago URL officially launched its rebranded Roil cooking oil and fortification programme in line with Government’s nutrition policy and unveiled its new “Unity” mealie-meal product. The firm also manufactures bathing and washing soap as well as stockfeed.
URL is one of the few oldest surviving companies in Bulawayo. According to Mr Moyo, URL was founded by a Jewish family called the Levin brothers in 1935. The company has a long journey having survived multiple dispensations and challenges with a long history of resilience and fortitude in producing a range of products, said Mr Moyo.
The company was on semi-shut down during the difficult years of 2008 through 2011 and revived its operations in earnest in 2012 and 2013. Mr Moyo credited the successful turnaround of URL to the diligence and commitment by the company’s workers and capacity boost from shareholders. Going forward he said URL was positioning itself to be a health conscious firm seeking to satisfy national nutrition needs.
“We don’t just want to supply food to our customers, we want to bring lasting nutrition to our users and to our fans, we already bring high hygiene to our end users and we believe our customers deserve not only a clean environment but also a healthy body in a clean environment,” said Mr Moyo.
“We believe our clients want a partner like us to help them access nutrition and neutraceutical products that will keep them active and happy.”