HomeBusiness DigestShareholders scuttle Town & Country disposal

Shareholders scuttle Town & Country disposal

Roadwin Chirara

THE planned disposal of Town & Country by CFI Holdings could hit a snag after the chairman, Abner Botsh, raised concern over the deal saying it wou

ld undermine shareholders’ interests.

The CFI board is said to have taken the decision to sell Town & Country without consulting the company’s ma-
jority shareholder, Rayberry Invest-ments, represented by Botsh whom they had ousted from the board.

Rayberry, which holds 35% in the company, has not been placed under government specification, which allows it to block the proposed sale. They said they wanted CFI to focus on its core agricultural business, a decision that is opposed by the majority shareholder. Botsh said CFI had failed to consult the majority shareholder in its decision to dispose of the retail subsidiary.

“Rayberry Investments has a majority shareholding in the company with 35% and the second highest shareholder has only 7%,” said Botsh. “With a share structure like that you have to consult the relevant shareholders in any decision,” he said.

He said the decision could have been informed by the company’s board members and management whom he said had a “vested interest” in the sale.

“We know that some members have their own interests in the deal, but they cannot just decide to dispose of assets without consulting the shareholders of the company,” said Botsh. He said since the courts had declared his ouster from the chairmanship illegal, recent developments would be dealt with in the interests of shareholders.

“I am still the chairman of the company and I will have to act accordingly in the next meeting of the company’s board,” said Botsh.

The board replacements were effected when government stepped up its fight against new owners led by Mutumwa Mawere. Government placed CFI under state administration — announced by Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa.

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