From http://www.zimdaily.com
By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Published: 31 July 2011

Pool at Meikles Hotel

MEIKLES Limited (who also own a hotel in Victoria Falls) shares resumed trading on the London Stock Exchange following the lifting of the suspension slapped on the company’s shares by the LSE in 2009.

Trading of the group’s 4 556 899 shares or 2 percent of its issued shares listed on LSE started last week. There are 245,4 million shares in issue of which 98 percent are on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

Meikles finance director Mr Onias Makamba said the shares were issued in 1996 when Meikles raised capital in London through an initial public offer.

Trading in Meikles shares was suspended at the height of the shareholder dispute in 2009, which resulted in Meikles and some of its subsidiaries being specified. “The specification led to the ZSE suspending Meikles from trading and the LSE followed suit in October 2009,” said Mr Makamba.

Meikles was de-specified in February last year and the ZSE suspension lifted the same month. “As part of the process to lift the suspension, the LSE wanted a copy of the financial results for the period ended 31 March 2011 which they have since received and reviewed, hence the lifting of the suspension,”

Meikles was suspended from the ZSE after Government investigated allegations of externalisation of foreign currency.

Meikles was part of Kingdom Meikles Africa Group, born out of a merger in 2007 between Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited, Meikles Africa Limited, Tanganda Tea Company and Cotton Printers.

The merger was blighted by boardroom wrangles between Mr Nigel Chanakira and Mr John Moxon. Initially, the feud centred on Mr Moxon’s plan to sell Cape Town’s Cape Grace Hotel to Mentor Africa, which was alleged to have strong connections to Mr Moxon.

But sanity returned after a successful demerger of KFHL from Meikles Limited. After his de-specification Mr Moxon has since bounced back into the day-to-day running of Meikles as executive chairman.

Mr Moxon’s re-appointment is said to be largely in line with the group’s plans to rebuild critical pillars within the group and meet the country’s indigenisation regulations.

The group has submitted its proposed Employee Share Ownership Scheme Trust to the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment on the group’s indigenisation status.

Meikles operates 51 TM supermarkets and 24 outlets in Thomas Meikles Stores comprising such brands as Meikles, Barbours and Greatermans.

The group is still waiting for regulatory approval of Pick ‘n Pay’s proposed increase in its shareholding in TM to 49 percent from 25 percent, which would result in a US$13 million cash injection into its 51 supermarkets.

Meikles Hospitality manages 580 rooms and suites in three hotels — the Victoria Falls Hotel, Meikles Hotel and the Cape Grace.

Tanganda owns 9 265 hectares of land with 4 350 hectares under cropping in tea (60 percent), timber (32 percent), macadamias, avocados and maize (3 percent).