Ariston shareholder guns for more
ORIGIN Holdings Limited, which holds a 68 percent stake in Stock Exchange-listed firm Ariston Holdings Limited, could increase its shareholding in the agricultural dealer if ongoing negotiations are concluded.
After Ariston republished a cautionary on Tuesday advising investors to exercise caution in dealing with its shares, market analysts with knowledge of current discussions between the two parties said Origin, the major shareholder was planning to convert debts extended to the quoted firm into equity.
It was not clear how much the debt under consideration was, but during the half year ended March 31, 2015, Ariston’s short term borrowing amounted to about US$8 million while long term borrowings were US$7,2 million, with long term obligations rising from US$3 million at the same time in 2014.
On Tuesday, Ariston said negotiations were ongoing and shareholders would be advised of the outcome in due course.
“Further to the cautionary announcement published on 11 December 2015, the directors of Ariston Holdings Limited wish to advise shareholders that Ariston Holdings Limited is negotiating a transaction, which if successfully concluded, may have a material impact on the company’s share price, capital structure and in turn the shareholding structure of the company”.
“The transaction involves a proposal received by the board from the major shareholder of the company, Origin Global Holdings which is undergoing the normal Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listing requirements and other regulatory requirements, and shareholders will be provided with more details in due course,” the statement said.
Ariston has interests in macadamia and tea production, horticulture, annual crops, poultry and trading.
During the half year to March 31, 2015, group revenues fell by eight percent to US$8 million after turnover at FAVCO, the trading unit, declined by US$0,6 million.
The firm reported a US$0,8 million loss during the review period, after posting a US$2,7 million during the prior comparative period in 2014.
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