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Kaukonde ups stake in Willdale

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Businessman Mr Ray Kaukonde has increased his shareholding in brick maker Willdale Limited ahead of the recapitalisation of the group. Mr Kaukonde upped his interest in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed brick manufacturer from 13 percent to about 23 percent.
The deal went through as a special bargain of 158 715 566 Willdale shares at 0,25c during trades on April 11, 2014. The deal worth nearly $400 000 was pushed through by brokers Lynton Edwards.

Mr Kaukonde becomes the second biggest shareholder in the brick making company after Dahaw Trading, which holds about 39,34 percent stake.

The shares were bought through Mr Kaukonde’s investment vehicle Ranus Investments. Sources said the shares were bought from investment vehicles Arrakis, Africa Investment Trading and Gezmark.

The fourth set of shares were bought from Mr Kaukonde’s business partner and Natfoods chief executive, Mr Jeremy Brooke.

Asked to comment Mr Kaukonde would neither deny nor confirm the transaction saying that he preferred to focus on finding practical solutions to challenges bedevilling the domestic economy.

“I think we should spend more time on trying to find solutions to serious challenges facing this economy than discuss other issues,” he said.

The listed brick maker will next month approach its shareholders for permission to issue shares to raise $3,5 million for the acquisition of new equipment to improve the firm’s operational efficiency.

If granted permission, the directors will issue semi-annual redeemable convertible cumulative preference shares with a nominal value $0,0001 each at a subscription price of $1 per share.

An extraordinary general meeting of shareholders has been scheduled for 6th of next month. The rights issue is also subject to approval by the ZSE and fulfilling of other conditions precedent.

The rights issue will not dilute any of the current shareholders of Willdale.

Willdale said that the new equipment to be purchase from the capital raised would eliminate excessive down time caused by the old equipment, which has compromised the viability of the company.

“The low production volumes have resulted in high average cost of production for Willdale leading to reduced viability of the company’s brick making operations,” the company said early this month.

Willdale directors believe that fresh capital will improve production, restructure the balance sheet and about bring economies of scale.

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