Fertliser giant Omnia seek capital to reduce debt

Omnia Africa is in the process of soliciting financial support from shareholders in order for the company to unrest what it called unsustainable debt levels.

Omnia Africa is a diversified pan African chemicals group that supplies chemicals and specialised services and solutions for the agriculture, mining and chemical application industries in Africa and beyond, including in Zimbabwe.

Giving a background on what gave rise to the need for capitalisation by shareholders, the JSE listed company said it leveraged its balance sheet in 2017, 2018 and 2019 financial years as part of a strategic growth initiative, which included expansion through the acquisitions of Umongo Petroleum December 2017 and Oro Agri May 2018 and making market entries into new jurisdictions;

The company also made an investment in a new nitrophosphate plant and as well as in Microsoft Dynamics AX system and related infrastructure. these moves marked the end of its expansionary capital expenditure programme which is expected to result in reduced capital expenditure in the medium term.

In the 2019 financial year, the Company was adversely impacted by droughts, late rains, a volatile Rand, a material slowdown in the local and international mining industry, and overall difficult trading conditions, resulting in a net loss after tax of R407 million.

“Increased working capital requirements, following the recent acquisitions and expansion into new jurisdictions, were funded through a combination of borrowings and bank overdraft facilities

 

 

The net loss after tax, together with the increase in the Company’s debt levels, was not in line with the Company’s principal debt providers’ expectations and covenant requirements”

The Company went on to proactively engage with its debt providers and, by 31 March 2019, the debt providers agreed to waive all potential rights of default on existing loan facilities on condition that new debt terms be agreed before.

Subsequently Omnia went on to secure a R6.8 billion bridge debt facility with its principal debt providers, comprised of a term loan of R5 billion, and committed overdraft and other facilities of R1.8 billion. The bridge debt facility allowed the company to settle all existing borrowings and overdraft facilities at 24 June 2019.

It is against this background that Omnia is seek capitalisation via a rights issue to safeguard its ability to continue as a going     concern to provide returns for shareholders and benefits for other stakeholders and to maintain an optimal capital structure resulting in a reduced cost of capital.

EQUITY AXIS NEWS

Respect Gwenzi

Respect is the Lead Analyst and Managing Director at Equity Axis. He has 8 years experience in respective fields of finance and media. Particular areas of expertise include Asset Management, Stockbroking and Financial Media. Respect is on a mission to change the course of Financial Media in Africa through digitalization

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