/ 26 October 2009

Bidvest debuts on Namibian bourse

South African industrial group Bidvest debuted on the Namibian Stock Exchange on Monday, raising N$313,6-million, the company said.

Namibian investors bought all of the 50,7-million shares on offer. The stock was listed at 720 Namibian cents.

Bidvest Namibia, which houses the group’s fishing interests as well as businesses offering services and products such as stationery, said it will use the cash to explore acquisition opportunities in Namibia.

Bidvest, whose activities cover food distribution, auto retail and freight services, said the listing of its Namibian unit resulted in the dilution of its stake in the business to 52% from 89%. The company said the dilution was part of its drive to meet Namibia’s black economic empowerment action targets.

About 675 individual Namibian investors had bought shares in Bidvest Namibia, ”indicating unprecedented interest while ensuring a broad spread of shareholders”, said Primus Hango, Namibian Stock Exchange chairperson.

”At Bidvest, we are proud to give birth to our new ‘baby’, Bidvest Namibia,” Brian Joffe, Bidvest CEO, said.

”It’s a healthy infant looking forward to strong growth. Our goal for our offspring is sustained development into one of Namibia’s strongest and most successful companies.”

The listing makes Bidvest the second-largest company on the Namibian bourse by market capitalisation, with the third-largest free float of shares of 32,4%, said the company.

The unit’s revenue rose 17,4% to R1,6-billion in the year to end-June, a small contribution to the group’s total revenue of R112,4-billion. — Reuters