News Column

Astra Industries Seeks ZSE Exit

August 11, 2014



ASTRA Industries majority shareholders, Kansai Plascon and Hemistar have made a mandatory offer to minority shareholders and will delist the company from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) as they bid to turn the business around.

Kansai Plascon last year partnered with Hemistar - a firm representing Astra management and staff - to acquire a 63,25 percent interest in the issued share capital in Astra, from the Finance Trust of Zimbabwe, an investment vehicle owned by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

"Hemistar and Kansai Plascon have, subject to the conditions precedent set out in this circular, decided to make this joint announcement of their joint intention to make a cash offer to acquire all the issued shares in Astra not already held by Kansai and Kansai Plascon," said the companies in the circular.

Kansai, a South African company, owns the Plascon brands and independently owns 38,19 percent of the issued share capital of Astra. Hemistar is a company 51 percent owned by Astra Industries management and staff and 49 percent by Kansai.

"Hemistar and Kansai Plascon have, subject to the conditions precedent set out in this circular, decided to make this joint announcement of their joint intention to make a cash offer to acquire all the issued shares in Astra not already held by Kansai and Kansai Plascon," said the companies in the circular.

According to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listings requirements, the acquirer of a minimum of 35 percent in a listed firm must make an offer to minorities unless this requirement has been waived by the ZSE.

The mandatory offer to minorities will be made within a period of 12 months from the date of the transaction, and in the case of Astra that would be 18 July 2013 at the same price.

Astra Industries is targeting a 60 percent market share from the current 44 percent, bolstered by its partnership with Tokyo listed firm, Kansai Plascon.

Astra is planning to introduce new products in an effort to regain lost market share.

This ties in well with Kansai Plascon's key strategy which is to expand its leadership position into the rest of Africa. Kansai has brand presence in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Malawi.

Astra will also expand its Bulawayo factory capacity.

The partnership will also allow Astra to invest more resources into research and development while new Plascon brands will be introduced in the Zimbabwean market with plans in place for local manufacture as well.

Astra Chemical, a subsidiary of listed Astra Industries Limited has been exporting the bulk of its potable ethanol to regional beverage firms as local demand has drastically dwindled.


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Source: AllAfrica


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