HomeBusiness DigestDairiboard disposes of Interfresh stake

Compliment — don’t complicate

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed Dairiboard Zimbabwe Ltd (DZL) has sold its 18% shareholding in premiere horticultural group, Interfresh Ltd.

The deal, a special bargain of 82 million Interfresh shares, was sealed Wednesday.  The shares were sold at 1 cent each, a 100% premium compared to Interefresh’s closing price of 0.5 cents. Interfin Securities bought the shares on behalf of a buyer whose identity remains shrouded in secrecy.

Interfresh chairman Lishon Chipango controls the company backed by the second largest shareholder, Old Mutual.

Speculation is rife that National Social Security Authority (NSSA) could be behind the acquisition. NSSA has been on a shopping spree for stocks on the ZSE buoyed by a deeper pocket. Only last week NSSA acquired African Banking Corporation’s shareholding in Star Africa.

A market source said: “It is believed to be NSSA; they are the only buyers in town. They are the ones who took ABC’s Star Africa stake (35 million Star Africa shares sold last week.)”

DZL CEO Anthony Mandiwanza could neither confirm nor deny the US$800 000 deal.

DZL acquired the stake in 2006 amid speculation the group was targeting a possible takeover. But its drive to have board representation collapsed after other shareholders voted against the proposed appointments.

The listed group is said to have been eyeing Interfresh’s foreign currency coffers. DZL would have benefited immensely from Interefresh’s Mazoe Citrus given that it is now involved in juices and beverages.

DZL’s move then was seen in the market as following in the footsteps of Delta Corporation, which took over Ariston Holdings at the height of foreign currency shortage to ease its problems. Like DZL, Delta also sold its Ariston stake saying the group would be reverting to its core business — non-alcoholic beverages and beer. DZL management is still to give reasons why the company exited. –– Staff Writer.

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