INNSCOR Africa Ltd whose share price gained 38% since the release of a cautionary statement in May, has acquired 14,6 million shares in National Foods Holdings Ltd (Natfoods).
The deal includes 14 618 770 Natfoods shares made up of 7 110 400 and 7 508 370 shares from Takepart Investments and Old Mutual, respectively.
Company secretary Thomas Brown said: “Negotiations have been concluded to acquire 16% Natfoods shares, to take our stake in Natfoods to 26%. The acquisition was made through the issue of Innscor scrip with an option of acquiring a further 10% (6 464 000) Natfoods shares from Takepart in the next 18 months.”
The transaction was concluded at a ratio of two Innscor shares to one Natfoods share.
Innscor management said it was “looking forward to working with National Foods to explore areas where synergies can be achieved and to explore opportunities where the scope of business can be expanded both in Zimbabwe and in the region”.
In a statement the company said: “These acquisitions were made by an allotment to Takepart and Old Mutual of 29 237 540 Innscor shares under the control of directors. A further 2 277 510 Natfoods shares were purchased for cash.”
The deal has made Innscor the second largest shareholder after Tiger Brands Ltd that has a 27% stake; Anglo American Corporation Zimbabwe (Amzim) has 14%, Takepart 10% and other minority shareholders have 24% shareholding.
Innscor, the consumer orientated group of industries operating in the food, adventure tourism, crocodile ranching, retail and distribution sectors has food operations in central, east and west Africa, encompassing seven countries with a combined gross domestic product of US$75 billion.
In the six months ended December 31 2002, Innscor recorded a turnover of $23,8 billion, representing a growth of 207%.
Negotiations have been concluded for food service developments in Senegal and Tunisia with shops due to open in October and November 2003, respectively.
The group is consistently reviewing its regional portfolio and has taken the decision that it will franchise those operations where potential is “low”.
In its Zimbabwe operations, the food sector recorded a turnover growth of 223% on the prior period, while the non-foods sector achieved a turnover growth of 107%.
The distribution sector produced good results for the six months with turnover growth of 319% over the prior period.
The group’s regional operations produced a turnover of US$7,7 million in the period, a growth of 15%.
“The group is focused on further exploiting existing intellectual property rights in Zimbabwe and the region through the development of additional branded stores and is actively pursuing the expansion of its range of intellectual property rights,” the company said.
Innscor is often described as a brand warehouse with a stable of internationally recognised brands as well as its own generic brands which include Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Nandos, Steers, Creamy Inn and Bakers Inn on the food side and Spar, Capri, TV Sales & Hire, Kodak, Photo Inn, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate, Gillette and other household brands in the retail and distribution sector.
Natfoods is primarily involved in the milling and distribution of maize meal and flour but also produces edible oils, malt, stockfeeds and packaging.
The company reported earnings per share of $53 for the year ended December 31 2002 Natfoods share price gained 12% since May 7.