Delta speaks on cross-border investment

HARARE – Delta Corporation says its acquisition of a controlling stake in Lusaka Stock Exchange-listed National Breweries PLC (Natbrew) in December last year was approved by all the relevant regulatory bodies.

Zimbabwe’s largest beverages producer acquired a 70 percent stake in Zambia’s Natbrew Plc-a wholly-owned subsidiary of AnheuserBusch InBev SA/NV (AB InBev).

“This cross-border investment was approved by the Exchange Control Authority (RBZ), the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, Security Exchange Zambia, Comesa and other regulators in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“Details about the transaction were announced to the market by way of notice and are tabulated in the 2018 annual report. Specifically, the transaction was funded through the use of treasury shares and a bank loan.

“The funding structure has in no way affected the company’s ability to fund its operations as it has sufficient cash resources,” said Delta.

Zimbabwe’s largest beverages producer added that it also announced in December last year that it had entered into binding agreements to acquire South Africa’s United National Breweries.

“The funding of this transaction is still to be finalised. The information provided in notices relating to such transactions depends on their materiality (value) and the ZSE regulations,” read part of the Delta statement.

According to the beverages giant, the two transactions have not in any way undermined its operations.

“These investment transactions to date, have had no direct impact on the operating cash, particularly the foreign currency required for the Zimbabwe operations.

“The company had net cash of $302 million as at 30 September 2018. The disruptions to operations arise from the limited access to foreign currency.

“These investments will yield dividends and royalties for Delta into the future,” said Delta.

The country’s biggest beverages company is keen to invest into companies from which AB InBev, which is a 40 percent shareholder in Delta, is divesting.

“It is in the public domain that in certain African markets, AB InBev is divesting from the traditional beer sector, a market segment in which Delta has proven competencies. The Delta board has resolved to bid for any such assets as they become available.

“The Delta board is excited about the opportunities for growth as market leader in the traditional beer sector in the region,” said Delta.