Van Hoogstraten offers more than double for CFI shares

British tycoon, Nicholas Van Hoogstraten today made a counteroffer to CFI minorities, at 46 cents per share more than double the offer by Stalap as the two rivals intensify their battle for control of the agro-industrial group.

Zimre Holdings Limited’s investment vehicle, Stalap Investment earlier this month made a mandatory offer to all CFI Holding Limited minority shareholders at 22 cents per share.

Stalap owns a 41 percent stake in the CFI after purchasing 13.6 million shares on February 28 this year.

Van Hoogstraten’s Messina Investments holds a 42 percent stake in CFI, making it the largest shareholder in the group and wants other minorities to ignore the Stalap offer.

“We urge all the minority shareholders not to sell their shares but to support us in the reversal of the Langford Estates land sale and in combatting the further destruction of shareholder value that a return to Zimre/NSSA control would entail. In any event, the current ZSE market price is considerably higher than the offer price of 22 cents from Stalap,” said company director Maximilian Hamilton in a statement today.

CFI shares closed at 37.25 cents yesterday.

Hamilton said Messina Investments will buy shares, at a price which is more than double the Stalap minority offer, from shareholders who wish to sell their shares to the company.

“We will pay 46 cents per share net of dealing costs,” Hamilton said.

Messina is also prepared to pay foreign shareholders directly into their respective offshore accounts.

“Shareholders resident outside of Zimbabwe may contact us direct or by email…. as we are able to pay the 46 cents per share net into a Bank account of their choice in U.S.$, Sterling, S.A.Rand or Australian $,” he said.

Hamilton accused Stalap of “fraudulent activities and mismanagement” of the agro-industrial group.

“Stalap is a consortium between Zimre and NSSA whose purpose is to regain control of CFI so that the former plunder, mismanagement and corruption that was endemic at CFI in the years prior to 2016 can be abated. The fraudulent sale of the Langford Estates land is one example,” he added.

Hamilton said Langford Estate was undervalued at $2.20 per square metre when the true value was around $6 per square metre.

CFI sold the 834 hectares Langford Estate in 2015 to Fidelity Life Assurance in a deal worth $18 million; to pay off its debt to local banks.

The group then owed FBC Bank, Agribank, CBZ, the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, NMB and Standard Chartered a combined $18 million. –The Source



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