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TA Acquires Major Stake in PG

DIVERSIFIED investment group TA holdings is next week expected to seal a deal to acquire an “influential stake” in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange – listed PG Industries, in a move that is likely to consolidate the group’s position as one of the country’s highly capitalised concerns.


Presenting the group’s business model at the Imara Holdings investors’ conference in the capital on Tuesday, TA chief operations officer Donald McDevitt said that the group would soon announce a growth related deal involving a company that “focuses on distribution”.

Information gathered by businessdigest this week pointed towards the industrial, construction and furniture distributor PG.

“We have bought a substantive stake in a listed company that focuses on distribution,” McDevitt said. He however said he would announce the acquisition on Thursday after the ongoing cautionary period. The TA chief said the group was also planning to make two more acquisitions later in the year. McDevitt said the group is currently financially sound with a cash balance of up to US$12 million.

Speculation is rife on the market that the group could have acquired companies either linked to senior management in PG or a stake owned by BancABC, which is understood to have interests in the building material distributor.

PG Industries shareholder register shows that Second Nominees, an investment vehicle is the largest shareholder in PG with 20% shareholding while Old Mutual Life Assurance and Prestige Investment owns 17% and 10% respectively.

Laserson investment currently fourth on the shareholder register owns 7,52% of the concern.

Analysts however said the group bought a company that has substantial scrip in PG industries. They said PG –– currently with a market capitalisation of US$25 million –– requires about twice its market value to boost its business capacity.

TA which owns insurance giant Zimnat Lion is currently more than six times bigger than PG in terms of market capitalisation.

Meanwhile, the ZSE de-listed insurance company Zimnat after the High Court sanctioned a takeover of minority shares by the cash rich group. It is understood that minority shareholders will be allocated 10 TA shares for every 175 Zimnat shares issued to them.

“Further to notice published on June 18, 2009, the Company hereby advises shareholders that the High Court sanctioned the Scheme on June 24,” read a statement made by Zimnat Lion.

“The Court Order was subsequently filed with the Registrar of Companies in terms of Section 191 of the Companies Act on June 29, 2009. Accordingly, the scheme became effective and binding on all minority shareholders of the company on that date”.

BY BERNARD MPOFU

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