Securities Commission tells CFI minority shareholders to ignore Messina offer

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SECZ) says CFI Holdings minority shareholders should disregard an informal offer by Messina Investments which it says undermines the integrity of the market and transparency in trading of equities on the local bourse.
Messina, controlled by British tycoon, Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, on July 25 offered to purchase shares from minorities at 46 cents per share exclusive of charges, countering an earlier offer by Stalap Investment’s minority offer at 22 cents per share.

Stalap is an investment holding company for CFI shares owned by Zimre Holdings and owns 41 percent shareholding in the agro-industrial group. Messina Investments published a notice in the press saying that it already holds a 42 percent shareholding in CFI, together with its associates.

“Members of the investing public are advised to disregard the calls by Messina Investments. The conduct of Messina Investments Limited in inviting minority shareholders of CFI Holdings to sell their shares off-market, outside the Zimbabwe Stock Market undermines the integrity of the market and inhibits transparency and efficiency required in securities market trading,” the commission chief executive Tafadzwa Chinamo said in a statement on Monday.

“To protect investors and promote transparency and orderly trading of securities, the Commission advises investors to trade their shares on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange regulated platform through licensed stockbrokers only,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange last week said it viewed the notice by Messina as an unsanctioned informal offer to minorities and therefore non-compliant with the ZSE’s Listing Requirements.

The battle for CFI control has been under the spotlight on the local bourse, as CFI’s share price rallied from 18 cents, a day before Stalap’s minority offer on July 13, to close at 51,03 cents when Stalap Investments minority offer closed on Friday.

CFI’s current price on the market is 132 percent higher than Stalap’s original minority offer price and it values the agro-industrial group at $54,2 million.–source