By ETimes

Meikles Limited says the costs of the proposed unbundling of its agricultural business, Tanganda Tea Company Limited, from the group will be about US$138 900 but the demerger is subject to approval by shareholders at the company’s extraordinary annual general meeting to be held mid next month.

Tanganda is the largest producer, packer and distributor of tea in Zimbabwe and the first commercial tea was planted at New Year’s Gift estate in 1924. It has also developed the largest hectare of both macadamia nuts and avocados and has become the single largest producer of both crops in Zimbabwe.
If successfully concluded, Tanganda Tea Company will list separately on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE). Plans to de-merge Tanganda were first announced in April this year.

“The costs for the Proposed Transaction are expected to amount to approximately US$138 900 which relate to professional fees as well as regulatory, advertising, printing and postage charges,” said Meikles board chair John Moxon in a circular to shareholders.

Tanganda is poised to be listed on ZSE on the 2nd of December this year.

Post the unbundling of Tanganda, Moxon said, the group will focus on the retention and consolidation of its investments in the supermarkets, hospitality, properties and security services segments.

“In the next three to five years, a substantial growth in investment in new stores and upgrades to the existing stores will be implemented.”

The Supermarket segment has achieved growth in both profits and operating cash flows during prolonged tough trading conditions and since March 2020, worsened by disruptions brought in by Covid-19 pandemic, according to the group.

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“This demonstrates resilience against shocks in the operating environment. The interest in supermarkets provides critical mass to deliver consistent returns to shareholders despite the impediments in the operating environment confronting businesses,” he said.

For the Hospitality segment, both The Victoria Falls Hotel and Cape Grace Hotel were profitable operations prior to the advent of Covid-19 pandemic.

He said strategies to reposition the hotels for a rebound in international tourism are being implemented.

“The refurbishment of The Victoria Falls Hotel commenced in June 2021 as part of the preparation for the anticipated rebound in international tourism and travel,” he said. The diversified group banks on the reopening of the air travel industry. This comes as Qatar Airways commenced flights to Harare in August 2021 whilst Lufthansa will fly to Victoria Falls three times a week from March 2022.

“These developments bode well for the return of international tourism and travel.”

On the properties division, Moxon said, strategic alternatives are being examined on how best to grow it to provide an opportunity for shareholders to enhance value.

“All remaining properties will be developed and leases have been signed with financially strong anchor tenants,” Moxon said – Harare

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