Simbisa Brands gets a go-ahead for stake in Foodfund, targets AIM listing

ZIMBABWE – Simbisa Brands Limited, a quick service and restaurant company has received a nod from shareholders to acquire a 50% stake in the South African restaurant operating firm, Foodfund Investments.

At the same time, the board of directors were given the greenlight to seek listing on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Markets (AIM) expected to be achieved by September this year.

The acquisition will be completed by a four-year period issuance of up to 99,312,500 Simbisa AIM-listed shares issued to Foodfund sellers.

Simbisa Brands operates quick service restaurants in Africa through subsidiaries and franchises including Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Creamy Inn, Baker’s Inn among others.

Acquisition of Foodfund adds to its range of operations from Quick Service Restaurant to restaurant services including casual and fine dining space occupied by Foodfund.

In a way to expand into this eye-catching market, Simbisa brands plan to build new shops and use the same storage and distribution facilities, together with leveraging on existing infrastructure to dominate Africa.

The steady growth of the quick service restaurant market is likely to be driven by innovations including packaging and nutritious food products like low-fat milk and fruits in the menus.

“The primary focus in the casual and fine dining business is the $10 to $40 bracket,” said Simbisa chief executive Basil Dionisio.

“We could have gone for a franchise, but we prefer to own our brands so that if you are in Ghana for instance our chicken can be spicier instead of being rigid because franchises say it is intellectual property.”

A bid to acquire Foodfund was in accordance to a quest for expansion into new markets, something that is strengthening its growth strategy into new markets in the quick serve restaurant business.

Simbisa Brands top line performance continues to improve marginally in counters together with a significant growth in customer base.

The country’s casual and fine dining space is currently seeing new entries, market competition situation among the vendors including Ocean Basket, News Café, ChopChop, Roco Mamas and Pizza Hut.

According to Simbisa, a maximum of 75,000,000 shares will be issued in order to raise capital via an initial public offering on the AIM while, 21 717 500 shares will be issued to Foodfund on the effective date of the transaction.

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