Nssa sells 31,22% FML stake

THE National Social Security Authority (Nssa) has disposed of part of its shareholding in Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed financial services giant, First Mutual Holdings Limited (FML) after securing a private investor.

The deal, part of a broad realignment of Nssa’s investment portfolio, involved the parcelling out of 31,22% of Nssa’s shareholding in FML.

However, the state-run pension fund still retained 35% shareholding in the business.

The transaction has been on the cards since January when Nssa invited bids for the stake soon after a partial divestiture of its interests in ZB Holdings Limited.

Nssa general manager, Arthur Manase confirmed the transaction this week but was not at liberty to disclose further details.

Manase said the realignment would also be executed at the ZSE-listed leisure chain, Rainbow Tourism Group, where the fund holds more controlling interests.

This week’s transaction will also help Nssa achieve ZSE listing rules compelling investors into its counters not to control more that 35% shareholding.

“In line with our new mantra of honesty, accountability, and transparency, Nssa issued a statement on the 14th of January 2021 advising the public of its intended partial divestiture from FMHL,” Manase told the Independent.

“Through the statement, Nssa invited interested parties to submit expressions of interest for the 31,22% FMHL stake. The disposal of this stake will still leave Nssa as the majority shareholder in FMHL, with 35%. Seven parties responded to the invitation. The successful bid was evaluated from a technical and strategic fit, followed by a financial evaluation. Nssa enlisted the services of an independent financial advisor who ensured that the set premium would be good for the authority and its beneficiaries.

“The proposed settlement is in line with the advice of our financial advisors but at this time we cannot disclose the quantum or nature of settlement as the other party still has housekeeping issues to attend to,” Manase added.

“I am confident that we have an agreement, and the market shall be informed accordingly.”

He said proceeds from the disposal will be a hybrid of blue-chip equities and hard currency.

The hard cash will be allocated to impact investments and value preservation assets with a currency hedge, which will help stimulate economic activity, generate foreign currency, and create jobs for the benefit of all Zimbabweans,” said Manase.

“We received requisite approvals from the Nssa board, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. I am glad to say that Nssa following this transaction will now be compliant.

“As an authority we are bound to make sure we get the optimal returns from all our investments. Asset classes like RTG will be realigned so that they are fit for purpose in terms of our optimisation strategy,” said Manase. – Zimbabwe Independent