Zimbabwe: Meikles Unbundles Tanganda Tea Company

DIVERSIFIED retail and hospitality group, Meikles Limited has tabled plans to unbundle its tea farming concern, Tanganda Tea Company.

In an update, the group's company secretary, Thabani Mpofu advised shareholders and the investing public of the impending transaction.

"The Board is engaged in discussions and is considering various proposals which, if implemented, may have a material impact on the value of the Company's shares.

"In this regard the Directors have determined to unbundle from the Company and separately list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange the Company's agricultural processing business," Mpofu said.

In line with the decision, the company has since engaged professional advisors to plot the roadmap and shareholder are expected to be engaged for approvals which will be sought in due course.

These processes are expected to run alongside normal year end procedures.

"Shareholders and members of the investing public are advised to exercise caution and consult their professional advisors before dealing in the Company's shares until the full details of the transactions are announced or upon withdrawal of this cautionary," said Mpofu.

Market watchers believe the unbundling exercise will result in the group directing focus on fewer lines of business while strategically positioning the tea company and enabling it to timeously make its own decisions.

Tanganda Tea Company Limited is the largest producer, packer and distributor of tea products in Zimbabwe and is currently a subsidiary company of the Meikles Group which owns hotels and supermarkets plus departmental stores.

The agricultural concern started in the 1920s as a tea growing experiment and has since grown to become a thriving business empire employing various professionals.

It is divided into two main operating divisions - Agricultural and Beverage with the latter consists of a tea blending and packaging plant in Mutare.

Packed tea from the factory is sold and distributed through depots in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare.

Packed tea is also exported into various regional markets and abroad.

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