Meikles cedes 51%

Meikles Africa Limited has complied with Zimbabwe’s controversial indigenisation regulations after concluding a deal with the government that gave its employees a 20 percent stake in the group.

Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere said his ministry had approved the deal.

“Yes, the company is now fully compliant and, as a ministry, we are happy. The deal will also go a long way towards empowering the youth through a fund which will be administered by the Infrastructure Development Bank and Interfresh,” the minister said.

When quizzed on the approval of a lower threshold than the required 51%, Kasukuwere said his ministry had taken the company shareholder structure into consideration.

According to the conditions of the deal, launched in the capital on Friday, Meikles will transfer 24 million ordinary shares making up 10% of the issued share capital of the listed company to ordinary employees.

Meikles will also transfer a further 10% stake to its executives including non-executive directors, under an executive scheme while $250 000 will be made available by the company for youths projects and would be monitored by the IDBZ and listed horticultural concern, Interfresh.

The scheme is set to be fully implemented after a grading exercise which will be used as a basis of allocating the share and is open to current Meikles employees. Onias Makamba, the group’s finance and administration director said the company had received its approval on Wednesday.

“We received our papers on Wednesday and we are now compliant,” he said.

Despite insisting on a minimum 51% indigenisation share holding, government seems to be backing down on the position by approving deals below the threshold.

The Zimbabwe government recently approved Essar Africa’s acquisition of a 54 percent interest in Redcliff-based steel producer, Ziscosteel in a $750 million deal.

It also approved regional banking group Ecobank’s 70 percent acquisition of Premier Finance Group.

Meikles had its shares reinstated on London Stock Exchange (LSE) early this year following the lifting of the suspension slapped on the company’s script by the bourse in 2009.

Post published in: Business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *