Ariston moves to sell off half of subsidiary to Dutch investor amid plans to boost export business

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  • Company looking to sell 50% of its stake in Claremont Orchards
  • Stake to be sold to Tuinbouw Zonder Grenzen B.V from the Netherlands
  • Claremont to receive US$5 million over the next three years.

Harare – Listed agricultural concern, Ariston Holdings Limited has revealed that it is in talks with a Netherlands-based company, Tuinbouw Zonder Grenzen B.V, to sell off 50% of its stake in Claremont Orchards Limited in a move aimed at strengthening the company’s export business.

This was revealed in a cautionary sent out to investors by the company on Thursday (July 22, 2021).

“The transaction will enable Ariston Holdings Limited to receive cash for its 50% equity. This cash will be utilised to further extend the Group’s investment in macadamia and avocado for the export market.”

“Further, after the entry of the Netherlands-based company, offshore funding will be availed and utilised to plant new orchards with new export-oriented fruit varieties,” Ariston said.

In exchange for the shares, Claremont will reportedly receive an investment of over US$5 million over the next three years.

The company says this sort of transaction “will ensure that Ariston’s dilution in Claremont Orchards Holdings (Private) Limited will be limited to 50% despite the large funding that will flow into the businesses.”

They also expect that upon the completion of the deal, they will be a significant material impact on the value of the company’s shares and are therefore advising investors to trade with caution.

Having produced 419 tonnes of macadamia and also reporting a significant improvement in the production of avocados in their first fiscal half year ended 31 March 2021, Ariston has been banking heavily on the two fruits for overall performance improvement riding on high demand in the international markets.

“Export macadamia demand is projected to remain firm however a slight decline in the average selling price for the year is expected,” the company said in the outlook for the second half of the year.

Meanwhile, according to data presented by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, ZIMSTAT, Macadamia managed to reel in over US$2.9 million in export revenue in just the first five months of the year while avocados managed over US$663 thousand of which the Netherlands, the home country of Tuinbouw Zonder Grenzen B.V happens to be the number one export destination for the fruits.

These same trends have also seen Meikles expressing plans of expanding its agribusiness unit, Tanganda Tea Estates in the Chipinge district of Manicaland, to also grow macadamia and avocado.

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