Ariston debt reduction plan edges closer

Tea (1)HARARE – Origin Global Holdings’ move to up its 67,64 percent stake in Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed horticultural firm Ariston appears to be bearing fruit, with the company indicating that the proposed transaction now awaiting compliance with ‘routine’ regulatory requirements.

Earlier indications by sources privy to the proposed deal pointed to Origin Global seeking to convert loans they extended to the company into equity as part of balance sheet restructuring.

Such a restructuring would naturally result in the majority shareholder boosting its equity in the horticultural firm.

In a cautionary to shareholders today, Ariston said the “transaction involves a proposal received by the board from the major shareholder of the company, Origin Global Holdings which is undergoing the normal Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listing requirements and other regulatory requirements…..”

Ariston’s long term borrowings stood at $7,2 million at the end of the full year to March 2015, a jump from $3 million in the previous comparable period while short term debt fell from $11,1 million to about $8 million.

For the full year to March Ariston reported a loss of $820 000 from a profit of $980 000 registered in prior year on declining revenue.

Ariston is engaged in horticulture, tea, macadamia nut production, fishery, poultry production and supply of fresh farm produce, and its key divisions include Southdown Estates, Claremont Estate, Kent Estate, and Fruit and Vegetable Company (FAVCO).

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