URL mulls ZSE listing

URL mulls ZSE listing
Published: 14 December 2017
EDIBLE oil manufacturer, United Refineries Limited (URL), which is in the process of transforming into a fully fledged grocery manufacturer, plans a Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listing to raise capital, chief executive Busisa Moyo has said.

The Bulawayo-based cooking oil manufacturer has both foreign and local shareholding, but chief executive officer, Busisa Moyo, said the company's long term strategy was to scout for more capital and increase its foreign shareholding.

Moyo said the new economic trajectory brought about by the new Emmerson Mnangagwa-led administration presented the company, which has been in existence for 82 years, with an opportunity to strengthen its units and expands its business.

"We have a plan to list in the next three years, so we are developing into a grocery manufacturer to rival the current food giants in the country," Moyo told The Financial Gazette in an interview.

URL has been operating for over eight decades as a private company, making it one of the oldest manufacturers of edible oil, as well as soaps, among other grocery related products.

The new political dispensation, brought about by the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe who was succeeded by Mnangagwa, has been met with optimism by industry, with local firms now eyeing strategic partnerships with foreign players.

"The future is very bright. With the plans of listing, we see capital; we think the stock market is the place to be (for) capital raising, expansion and foreign capital. We already have foreign shareholding; we are looking to increasing that," Moyo said.

URL has been on recovery since 2013 following its acquisition by South Africa's logistics giant Grindrod Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

Grindrod purchased an 84 percent shareholding in the company and injected over US$2 million in working capital.

Grindrod is a holding company listed on the JSE Securities Exchange, with more than 100 years experience in South Africa's freight movement and related industries.

"We think that we can realise synergies by combining logistics and brands," said Moyo, adding that plans for diversification were driven by the need for competition in the grocery manufacturing sector, where the company has already introduced a variety of products on the market.

He added that the new strategy was meant to strengthen existing brands.

"We are very excited, we have a new mayonnaise that is out and a new mealie meal later before the year ends. As you know, we are mutating from a cooking oil manufacturer into a grocery manufacturer with revalitised brands," said Moyo.

URL already has edible oils, soaps, general hygiene products and other grocery products in its current product portfolio.
- Fin Gaz
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