Cambria completes Celsys exit

Business Reporter
CAMBRIA Africa Plc has completed its exit from Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed Celsys Limited in what also resulted in still birth to its plans to make a secondary listing on the local bourse.  Certain conditions precedent had to be met before the sale of Blueberry International could be completed and the company was not exactly certain that the transaction would be completed as planned.

“Cambria is pleased to announce that further to the announcement of 25 July 2013 in relation to sale of Cambria’’s interest in Celsys Limited, all conditions precedent have been met and the transaction has completed,” Cambria said.

The exit came about after the AIM listed firm sold its entire stake in Blueberry International, which held 60 percent in Celsys to a local consortium led by businessman Mr Lovemore Chihota.

The sale excludes Cambria’s Southerton properties’’ where Celsys operates. This transition marks a further focusing of Cambria on its Payserv and Millchem investments, and their regional expansion

This transaction sheds a loss making investment for Cambria, which transfers the responsibility of the necessary capital investment required to take Celsys to the next level to a committed new owner.

While Celsys had achieved improvements over the past 24 months, the rapid rate of progress in the field of printing will require significant additional capital expenditures to steer Celsys to the next level.

“The board believes this required capital would be better deployed by Cambria expanding Millchem and Payserv into the region.  Once the board appreciated Mr Chihota’s investor group’s vision for Celsys, the board believed a win-win situation could be achieved, through which both Celsys as well as Cambria would be best served,” said chief executive Mr Edzo Wisman.

This sale of its shareholding in Blueberry International effectively dealt a heavy blow to Cambria’s plans announced early this year to buy out Celsys minorities and takeover its listing on the ZSE.

The Blueberry group had revenues of US$ 1,8 million and a net loss of US$ 2,7 million, impacted by a US$1,3 million write off of certain loan assets.  The net loss at Cambria Group level was impacted by an additional US$ 6.8 million in write offs by Cambria of its investments in Blueberry.

Through Blueberry Cambria held 60 percent of Celsys, which specialises in security printing and provision of information technology and telecommunications. Cambria also owns 100 percent of Millpal, 51 percent of pharmaceutical distributor Panafmed and 51 percent of mobile software producer ForgetMeNot.

Cambria, previously LonZim, held a 79 percent shareholding in beachfront-located Adeamento Turistico de Macuti Hotel in Mozambique and planned to invest the proceeds of that sale in Zimbabwe.

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