Meikles and government agree on debt resolution

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed group Meikles Limited has reached an agreement with government over a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe debt issue, which has been outstanding for two decades.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

Meikles Limited chairman John Moxon

Meikles Limited chairman John Moxon

Meikles Limited chairman John Moxon told the company’s annual general meeting yesterday that a resolution to the long standing dispute over the debt recorded during the Zimbabwe dollar-era had been found, following meetings between the group and government.

“An agreement with government has been reached following high level meetings between its representatives, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and ourselves. The final figures now await the signature of the minister of Finance and Economic Development and the information will be made public thereafter.”

The closure of the debt issue will also see the group finally release its delayed financial results for the year ended March 31, 2017.

Moxon said the financials would be released in a fortnight which will reflect the position taken on the debt.

“We had to delay publishing our previous results due to the outstanding government debt issue. Now that it has been resolved, we will be in a position to advance the restructuring and repositioning of the group. We will also use some of the funds to ensure that the stores segment acquires appropriate inventory,” he said adding that net borrowings in the expected results will also show a significant reduction.

Meikles is currently trading under cautionary relating to an offer made by United Arab Emirates investor, Albwardy Investments Limited, to buy out the group’s shareholders.

Moxon said discussions around the offer were ongoing and the group had appointed Standard Bank South Africa as financial advisors.
He was optimistic the final position would set the company on a firm path as ultimately the shareholder does not want “to dismantle the group but to inject funding”.

“While we cannot divulge much information at this stage in compliance with regulations, I believe that the offer will be beneficial to all shareholders and help preserve the value that has been created over the 100 plus years this company has been in
existence.”