Zambeef will plough £34M into farmland

Express | 13 June 2011

Zambeef will use the money from its stock market floatation to buy 123,550 acres of prime farming land in Zambia.

By Andrew Johnson

ZAMBEEF, the first Zambian company to float on Aim, is planning to join the market in a listing which will help it raise £34million.

Zambeef Products is a “farm to fork” company involved in growing, processing, distributing and retailing almost everything from beef to bread, oils to eggs and pork to chickens.

Using broker Renaissance Capital, the float will take place later this month with the advice of Strand Hanson.

The money will be used to buy 123,550 acres of prime farming land in Zambia, currently owned by ETC Bio-Energy. Zambeef, which also has operations in Ghana and Nigeria, wants to limit its exposure to commodity prices and “erratic supply chains”.

It’s proposed move onto Aim is a further sign of growing interest in Africa among investors outside the mining, oil and gas sectors.

It follows conglomerate Lonrho’s move from Aim to the London Stock Exchange earlier this year. Zambeef’s chief executive Francis Grogan said the main driver of growth would be rapid urbanisation in many African countries.

Business advisor McKinsey says consumer spending is set to grow from $860billion (£529billion) today to $1.4trillion by 2020. Zambeef is already listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange. It is raising the cash through a rights issue there and a placing in London.

The eventual size of the London listing will depend on the take-up of rights in Lusaka.

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