SOUTH AFRICA – Agribusiness and food industry focused investment group, Zeder Investments has offloaded all its 61.6 million shares, representing 32.1% stake held in Quantum Foods Holdings Limited, a JSE-listed feed and poultry products firm to Country Bird Holdings Proprietary Limited (CBH).

CBH is an integrated poultry and stock feed business with operations in South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia.

According to Zeder’s statement announcing the disposal, the company has sold the shares at R5 per share fetching a total of R308m (US$18m).

The value of the net assets comprising the sale shares, as at 29 February 2020, being the date of the Zeder’s last audited annual financial statements, was R188 million (US$11m).

Zeder has held shares in Quantum Foods since it was unbundled from Pioneer Foods in 2014 and has assisted Quantum Foods with its restructuring, de-risking and repositioning following a turbulent period.

Expounding on the rationale for the disposal, Zeder stated that it has less to do with the investment prospects of Quantum Foods, but rather more with the strategic investment objectives of the group.

“Since being independently listed, Quantum Foods has evolved positively as an organisation under strong leadership and has consistently delivered commendable results, notwithstanding the cyclicality of the industry,” stated the company.

Following receipt of the consideration, Zeder’s net unencumbered cash reserves will amount to approximately R1.35 billion (US$79.15m) which it will use to ensure that its investees are appropriately capitalised during the Covid-19 crisis, while also investing in new opportunities, if and when opportune.

The divestment comes months after Zeder disposed of its entire 28.6% interest in Pioneer Foods to PepsiCo for a total consideration of R6.41 billion (US$375.85m).

This provided the company with an opportunity to use a portion of the cash proceeds received to settle all its debt and related obligations.

The remainder of Zeder’s portfolio represents strategic equity interests in leading organisations that span the agribusiness value chain.

Zeder’s current investment portfolio comprises of Zaad holdings, distributor of agriseeds and agricultural chemicals; The logistic group; Capespan group producer and distributor of fruits worldwide; KAAP Agri; Agrivision Africa, Mauritian based grain value chain investor.

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