SOUTH AFRICA – South African sugar producer Tongaat Hulett has unveiled that it will delist its shares from the London Stock Exchange to cut costs and streamline its shareholding structure.

Amid low trading volumes in the London-listed stock, the company said that it “has determined that the volume of trade over the past few years, together with the cost of maintaining the secondary listing, does not sufficiently warrant a presence on the LSE,”

Tongaat said it would maintain its primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Shareholders as of September 4 on the UK share register, a fraction of the total, will be transferred onto the South African share register.

The company said it will release a further announcement once the LSE has confirmed the delisting.

In June this year, Tongaat moved to voluntarily suspended trading its shares in Johannesburg and London as it sought to protect investors from unreliable financial statements and allow the group to restructure and reduce its debt.

“While the board is conscious that some shareholders or potential investors would prefer to retain the ability to buy and sell shares, the board believes that the temporary suspension is in the best interests of shareholders as a whole,” Tongaat Hulett said.

“The board views the suspension as a temporary measure until the company is in a position to provide sufficient further information to the market. It is expected that the suspension will be lifted no later than the time of release of the March 2019 financial statements.”

Meanwhile, the company’s listed unit in Zimbabwe has delayed its financials for the second time after missing the July 31 extended deadline, saying it was now finalising complex accounting issues stemming from its JSE-listed parent company’s re-statement of financials.

Tongaat, through the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Hippo Valley has now applied to the ZSE to be allowed a second extension to August 14. Tongaat also owns non-listed Triangle Sugar Corporation in Zimbabwe.

This follows a forensic investigation into the company’s assets, operations and other financial information which has prompted the company to reveal that its audited financials for the year to the end of March 2018 would have to be restated.