Econet And EcoCash Received Central Bank Approval For US Dollar Rights Offers
Listed companies Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (Econet) and EcoCash Holdings (EcoCash) have received approval from the central bank to conduct rights offers in United States dollars. Rights offers are a corporate action where existing shareholders are given the opportunity to purchase additional shares at a discounted price. It allows companies to raise capital from their current investors, who have the right to buy new shares before they are offered to the public.
Through these rights offers, Econet and EcoCah aim to raise $30.3 million each from their existing shareholders. The companies were unable to obtain foreign currency through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s auction process to redeem their debentures (long-term loans), which matured in April 2023. As a result, they sought exchange control approvals to proceed with the rights offers.
In separate statements on Tuesday, the companies stated that the ultimate Zimdollar price for the shares would be determined when they receive foreign currency on the interbank market to redeem the debentures, following the country’s exchange control laws. Econet said:
Members are hereby advised that the company has now obtained exchange control approval for the rights offer to be made in United States dollars.
The companies said the final price of the shares will be determined when the companies receive foreign currency on the interbank market to redeem the debentures. Shareholders registered as of September 1, 2023, will have the option to exercise their rights using the local currency. A deposit will be required for each share, with the remaining balance to be paid once foreign currency has been secured. The applicable exchange rate will be the prevailing interbank rate plus a 10% margin.
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The rights offer is scheduled to open on September 11, 2023, and close on September 29, 2023, with the results expected to be announced on October 6, 2023. The debentures stem from a capital raise exercise in 2017, which aimed to secure foreign currency for external loan repayments.
This approval allows Econet and EcoCash to proceed with their rights offers in an effort to raise the necessary funds from existing shareholders. It provides them with an alternative means to obtain foreign currency, as they were unable to access it through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s auction process.