Simbisa Brands postpones plans to list on London Stock Exchange

ZIMBABWE Zimbabwe’s quick service restaurant group, Simbisa Brands Limited has put on hold plans of its listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), reports the Herald.

Addington Chinale, the company’s chairman, has said that the company will now focus on growing of the business and working on its readiness before implementation of the plan since they had not put enough liquidity into the deal.

“The market conditions are not very suitable, but shareholders will be notified on the update.

The board is meeting and this is one of the issues to be looked at,” he said.

In July 2017, the company had announced its intention for a secondary listing in the LSE market as part of its expansion programme.

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The listing was to see the company attract a wider pool of equity funding especially from the international markets as well as competitively priced debt funding.

Indications are that investors’ feedback was not favourable for the transaction to proceed with the company’s US$30 million deal at hand seeming inadequate for the fund managers in London who were preferring a US$100 million portfolio.

Allowing the transaction to proceed would therefore be tantamount to ceding the company to London investors, who would have invested the remaining amount.

The company’s Group chief executive officer, Basil Dionisio, has cited foreign currency shortages and increased cost of doing business due to the increase in tax as some of the challenges in the macro economic environment.

However, the group has been recording a gradual growth over the past 3 years, with expansion to new regions and increased performance in the first quarter of their financial year being clear indicators.

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“Despite the persistent challenges in the trading environment, I am pleased to say the group has achieved strong set of results in the first quarter of 2019 financial year and performance has exceeded expectations,” said Dionisio.

Zimbabwe being the biggest market for the company has had challenging trading conditions and expected to remain challenging in the short term with the improved convenience in the market expected to create room for Simbisa’s expansion.

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