LonZim raises 1m for investment

LONDON - The disposal of the shares held by LonZim in Lonrho has enabled the company to raise 1 million to enhance its operations in Zimbabwe.

Lonzim plc announces that it has sold all of its remaining holding in Lonrho plc of 10 million ordinary shares, that it had held as a short term investment, for a total consideration of 1,000,000 generating a profit on disposal of 500,000. The proceeds will be used to supplement the Company’s working capital, said chief executive Dave Lenigas. United Kingdom-based LonZim remains the only company on the London Stock Exchange that is solely focused on investing in the economic recovery of Zimbabwe. The Board believes that Zimbabwe will become, once again, one of the leading economic drivers in Africa in the medium term and that the commercial opportunities to partake and invest in Zimbabwes eventual recovery are significant.

The company has invested in such sectors as commercial property, hotels, telecoms, aviation, agriculture services and pharmaceutical distribution. Among its projects is the iconic Leopard Rock Hotel, which was acquired for US$ 8.5m and is undergoing a US$ 1.7m refurbishment – expected to be completed in March 2010. It also acquired Paynet for US$ 3.19m, a purchase price which included the newly built commercial premises and offices in the prime Harare CBD, valued in excess of US$1m, from which the company operates.

Paynet provides the electronic funds transfer ‘switch’ services for 19 of the 21 banks in Zimbabwe, along with payroll services for major companies in Zimbabwe and a payroll bureau service. The company also provides microfinance loans to corporate employees on a salary deduction at source model. Also in its portfolio is Celsys Limited, a Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed security printing, IT, promotions and telecommunications company. LonZim owns 60 percent and the premises from which the company operates. Celsys is the country’s largest producer of telephone scratch cards and has recently generated a unique promotion with Spar retailers and Coca Cola utilising secure promotional scratch cards. Other entities in its portfolio are Millpal Chemicals, a leading market supplier of industrial chemicals and Fly540 Zimbabwe, a regional aviation franchise operated under the Lonrho Fly540 pan African aviation franchise already successfully launched in East Africa.

LonZim was created to establish a strong portfolio of businesses in Zimbabwe and the Beira corridor that geographically delivered a London Stock Exchange quoted conglomerate solely focused on Zimbabwe.

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