Munyeza resigns, as Brainworks plans ASL takeover

HARARE - African Sun Limited (ASL) chief executive Shingi Munyeza has resigned with immediate effect, as private equity firm Brainworks Capital Management (BCM) plans a total takeover of the listed hospitality group.

Munyeza — a businessman and owner of Mugg & Bean, Ocean Basket and News Café franchises in Zimbabwe — said he leaves ASL to “pursue other personal interests”.

“I will still remain invested in the tourism value chain,” he said on Tuesday.

His departure, after 13 years at the hotelier’s helm, coincides with BCM’s offer — through its subsidiary Lengrah Investments (Lengrah) — to buy-out ASL’s minority shareholders at $0,03 per share.

According to a circular issued by the two, the mandatory offer is for shares not already held by Lengrah, which acquired a cumulative 36,51 percent stake in ASL through a series of transactions last year.

“ASL… has received written notice of a firm intention from Lengrah… to acquire all the issued ordinary shares in the capital of ASL,” the circular said.

In October last year, BCM acquired a 32 percent stake in ASL, which was held by Munyeza through his investment vehicle, Nhaka Trust (Nhaka).

In return, Nhaka received 17,02 percent of BCM through a cash and share swop.

Last year, BCM also acquired ASL’s 12 percent stake in Dawn Properties (Dawn), which owns most of the hotelier’s hotel premises, for $4,3 million.

Early this year, ASL said it partly disposed of its 16,54 percent Dawn stake in a transaction that raised $1 million.

While part of the disposal was effected on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in December, the entire transaction of the 16,54 percent linked units is expected to raise $5, 8 million.

“As part of key capitalisation and debt reduction initiatives being pursued, the group is looking into the disposal of 16,54 percent linked units in Dawn,” ASL said in its results for the year ended September 30 2014.

“The rest of the disposal is expected to be completed by March 30, 2015,” the group said.

The investment, which was classified under non-current assets held for sale as at September 2014, must be fully-disposed of March-end.

ASL also expects to dispose of its fixed property to raise about $4 million, which will be used to repay part of its short-term loans and negotiations show that the transaction will go through before September 30, 2015.

 

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