If you know a little bit about the history of the ZSE you will be aware that it hasn’t always been roses and sunshine the countries main securities exchange. From a high of 78 counters in 2010 the ZSE only trades with 50 active counters in 2021. Not all delistings are created equal of course, there are different reasons and types of delistings. Let’s take a look at the delistings that have occurred on the market since 2009 with a brief of the reasons and process of delisting where applicable.
Suppose we may as well start with the most recent and most relevant delisting from the ZSE. The electrical engineering and retail products manufacturer quit the ZSE in 2020 citing the costs of meeting the requirements were no longer justifiable.
SeedCo Zimbabwe and SeedCo International
While this delisting was controversial it is by no measure the most controversial. SeedCo international was suspended from trading on the ZSE when the ZSE reopened in August 2020 and agreed to become the maiden and sole to date listing on the VFEX. They then decided to delist SeedCo Zimbabwe and completely list the company on the VFEX.
Zimbabwe Reinsurance company Holdings Limited consolidated ownership of ZimRe Property investments in 2020 taking the property counter off the market.
After years of challenges on both the operational and corporate governance fronts FalGold, which had asked for voluntary suspension of trading of its shares in February 2019, was allowed to resume trading of its shares in September 2019. What looked like a return to the fray was later revealed to be the last kick of a dying horse as FalGold voluntarily delisted in February 2020.
African Banking Corporation
What we know as Banc ABC was once listed on the ZSE as African Banking Corporation. Founded by former Barclays Plc boss Bob Diamond and Africa’s youngest billionaire Ashish Thakkar it was acquired by Atlas Mara group and delisted in 2015.
Astra holdings is another case of delisting that has a bit of an interesting factoid in it. In 2015, the shareholding of Astra Holdings fell out of compliance with the ZSE listing rule 4.22 and 4.25 which in plain language state that at least 30% of the shares of a listed company must be held by the public. The company also faced trouble on the operations front and chose to delist the same year.
Tractive Power Holdings
Tractive Power Holdings was delisted from the ZSE after Zimplow acquired 57.21% of the farming equipment supplier. The delisting was completed late in 2012.
Horticultural concern Interfresh applied for and was granted a delisting that was effective from 31 December 2013. The directors expressed disdain at the continued discounted valuation of the company compared to its Net Asset Value at the time.
PG holdings were finally struck off the ZSE register in April 2019 after a 6-year trading suspension on its shares. The building material manufacturer with operations that included glass and timber once boasted a huge regional footprint but sunk into trouble with creditors. It eventually found an investor to bail it out but pushed for voluntary delisting to facilitate this.
Apex is another company that was thrown out of the ZSE due to failure to live up to its listing requirements particularly in reporting. It was thrown out along with Gulliver, Steel net and Lifestyle Holdings in 2013. Apex was a supplier of foundry products used in the mining business.
Food processor Cairns holdings had a tumultuous existence on the ZSE in its later days and was placed under judicial management in July 2013 after 4 other aforementioned counters had been thrown out.
Celsys is one of my favourite stories because of how intimately I knew the business through dealing with them on behalf of my then employer. The technology and printing firm which had a huge chunk of its revenue in mobile phone prepaid recharge card (remember those?) printing was deregistered in 2016 due to massive corporate governance failures.
Chemco Holdings April 2014
Agricultural inputs and chemicals supplier Chemco holdings voluntarily delisted in April 2014 to pave the way for its acquisition by TSL Limited.
Gulliver failed to meet reporting and other corporate governance requirements and was delisted from the ZSE in July 2013. The former steel giant saw fortunes turn for the worst as it headed towards liquidation at the time.
Interfin Bank is a case which many should remember from a banking regulatory perspective. The bank was placed under curatorship by the RBZ in 2014 after failing to provide financial statements dating back to 2011. Interfin was delisted in late 2014.
The delisting of TN Holdings then known as Lifestyle Holdings from the ZSE also makes an interesting case study on the activities of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe which vehemently opposed the delisting of lifestyle holdings which was eventually granted a High Court and voluntarily delisted in 2013.
Phoenix Consolidated was created from an unbundling from Apex Corporation which we have already spoken about. They manufactured plastic and steel allied products in Bulawayo and Harare. The company was placed under judicial managemnt in 2013 and the axe came down on its head in April 2016 when shareholders and creditors agreed to delist.
The parent company of Trust Banking Corporation of Zimbabwe faced many corporate governance issues failing to publish annual reports, quarterly updates, hold shareholder meetings and pay its registration fees in 2012 -2013. They delisted late in 2013.
Dawn properties was delisted due to a vertical acquisition by tourism concern African Sun Limited which rented properties from Dawn. The deal was negotiated in 2020 but African Sun is yet to complete full acquisition and decided to take minority shareholders to court.
Steelnet Zimbabwe made news in 2011 with massive financial troubles rocking the company. The manufacturer of steel pipes and trailers along with other welded works was granted liquidation by the High Court of Zimbabwe in June 2013.
Pelhams was delisted in April 2016 after facing massive operational challenges and failing to meet corporate governance requirements as a listed firm. The furniture was struggling and unable to pay debts to creditors with TN Holdings amongst them.
TN Bank’s delisting from the ZSE makes for good reading for fans of the regulatory environment in Zimbabwe and the attention placed on one company in particular, Econet. TN Bank was acquired by Econet and delisted in February 2013 to later be rebranded to Steward Bank and unbundled along with Cassava in 2018.
Shareholders of Radar holdings applied for voluntary delisting in October 2015 and were granted delisting in April 2016 along with Pelhams. The furniture retailer was also battling operational challenges.
TA holdings was delisted after their takeover in 2015 by Masawara. The Tobacco auction and marketing company had 75% of its shares acquired and delisted in February 2015.
To close this off I thought this chart would help provide a graphical presentation of the timing and reasons for delisting by ZSE companies. Regulatory delistings include both voluntary and forced removals as sometimes the details can be unclear as to whether a company was pushed or jumped. For those wondering about companies such as Old Mutual, PPC and CFI those companies are under trading bans or suspensions and not delisted. 2013 was a massive year for delistings and with all of them being for regulatory reasons. Recently delistings have picked up and there are murmurs of CBZ and Padenga looking Westward to the VFEX.