Senior Business reporter

Arden Capital has said its unbundling and liquidation transaction has been delayed by ongoing approval discussions with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

Arden, a Zimbabwe-focused investment holding firm, had its shareholders approve the transaction to go ahead at a special meeting held on December 20, 2021.

The company, in a statement said the outstanding approval from the RBZ was required to be obtained by the company by no later than January 17, 2022.

“Arden Capital remains in discussion with the RBZ for the approval of the proposed transaction and accordingly, this delay has resulted in the lapsing of the conditions precedent long stop date as contained in the circular and therefore the resolutions pertaining to the Arden unbundling and the voluntary Liquidation is now void,” the company said.

The firm noted that the board of Arden Capital remains committed to the completion of the proposed transaction and a further update will be made in due course once the company’s ongoing engagement with the RBZ has been finalised.

The company, in June 2021 said it had commenced reviewing its prospects, financial health, strategy, and ability to continue to operate as a listed investment holding company.

As part of the transaction, the voluntary liquidation saw the cancellation and delisting of Arden shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

The company also advised that one of African Sun Ltd’s lessors had initiated a lease tender process in respect of property known as The Kingdom at Victoria Falls, which is currently being leased by African Sun Ltd.

The company said ASL continues to occupy the property and has signed an extension of the current lease with the landlord to February 28, 2022 in order to facilitate the ongoing tender process, which ASL has elected to participate in.

“The tender process closed on November 30, 2021, but its outcome is still unknown.

“Given the potential impact of the expired lease on ASL’s profitability, ASL remains in a cautionary period and accordingly shareholders should similarly continue to exercise caution in dealing in the Company’s securities until a further announcement regarding the tender process is made,” read part of the circular.

Arden has also concluded the sale of its logistics company FML, which moves bulk fuel across the region, for US$1 million for which the net proceeds will be used to pay off debts.

“Arden has concluded an agreement to an unrelated third party for a disposal consideration of US$1 million (R15 315 700,00 at an exchange rate of 15 3157, being the ZAR: USD exchange rate at the date of the disposal,” the company said.

It noted that Arden Capital will ultimately deploy the net proceeds towards settling various third-party creditors and other liabilities.

Arden was originally established as a listed investment company through which shareholders could gain exposure to various investment sectors with a focus on investing in Zimbabwe.

The group’s listing was aimed at achieving liquidity for its shareholders by providing them with a tradeable instrument on an internationally recognised stock exchange and providing the company with a platform through which to raise future funding for the growth of its portfolio.

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