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Choppies to buy Kenyan supermarkets

As part of extending its footprint in Africa the Retail Giant Choppies group has ventured into the Kenyan market.

The company announced a conditional agreement with Ukwala Supermarkets to acquire 10 outlets in Kenya. Choppies, which listed its 1.2 billion shares last Monday on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, said that the transaction was in line with its plans to have a footprint across the African continent.

Choppies seek to expand into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa and has stated its target of operating over 200 stores across at least six countries by December 2016.

Ukwala is a recognised and well-regarded brand in the Kenyan market and the stores will trade as Choppies Ukwala supermarkets.

The Transaction provides the Company with an immediate footprint of established stores and a platform from which to grow in Kenya. The retail giant will take over Ukwala branches in Nairobi, Nakuru and Kisumu, giving it a major launch pad into Kenya’s lucrative retail sector.

 Choppies will operate with a 25% local partner in Kenya in terms of the joint-venture agreement with the promoters of Export Trading Group, the leading agricultural commodities trading and logistics business, long-established in the region. The supermarkets will be acquired by Choppies Supermarket Kenya Limited, in which the Company holds a 75% interest.

Choppies Supermarket Kenya Limited will buy the assets and the business name for a purchase consideration of approximately US$10 million, subject to final due diligence and inventory valuation. The purchase consideration will be funded with debt and from existing cash resources.

The implementation of the Transaction is subject to approval of the Competition Authority in Kenya and other relevant regulatory approvals.

Choppies operates 125 stores in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Choppies also plans to start operations in Namibia, Zambia and Tanzania in the next two months targeting lower-to middle-income consumers, which would see it build from its initial 57 stores in Botswana.

The acquisition is to be funded via debt and existing cash reserves and is subject to final due diligence and inventory valuation.

The chain’s chief executive officer, Ramachandran Ottapathu, said the successful listing on JSE had given them the much-needed impetus to expand further into the East African market.

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Matsheka seeks raise bond program ceiling to P30 billion

14th September 2020
Dr Matsheka

This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.

“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.

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Lucara sits clutching onto its gigantic stones with bear claws in a dark pit

14th September 2020
Lesedi La Rona

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.

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Botswana Diamonds issues 50 000 000 shares to raise capital

14th September 2020

Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.

A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.

Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.

In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.

The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.

In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.

Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.

The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”

In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.

Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.

The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.

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