Africa Agriculture Botswana M&A South Africa

Ecsponent to acquire 45.5% of Botswana seed company

JSE-listed financial services company Ecsponent is to acquire a 45.5percent stake of the common share of Crosscorn, a Botswana-based company whose principal activity is the production, sale and distribution of seeds.

Ecsponent’s new chief executive, Dirk van der Merwe, said that the transaction would provide Ecsponent with an opportunity to acquire a strategic investment in Botswana, with a satisfactory return profile.

“The transaction will also strengthen Ecsponent’s shareholder base while reinforcing its pan-African expansion strategy and unlocking value for Ecsponent in neighbouring territories,” Van der Merwe said.

Crosscorn was incorporated in 2013 and has since evolved into a seed producer with a market share in excess of 50percent of the maize seed sales in Botswana. Crosscorn also sells close to half of the country’s sorghum, cowpeas and animal fodder seeds. Crosscorn is 100percent owned by Scipion Active Trading Fund (SATF), a fund incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands.

Ecsponent said it would acquire Crosscorn shares in two phases. It would purchase 26.25percent of the common shares in Crosscorn in exchange for a deferred cash consideration of $1.4million (R20.65m) at a fixed exchange rate of $1 to R14.80, which equals to R20.72m. Ecsponent would acquire a further 19.25percent of the common shares in exchange for the issue of 101.3million Ecsponent shares.

The group said the cash consideration would be settled on a deferred basis, in two equal payments to SATF, one at six months and one at 12 months after consummation of the transaction.

“The outstanding cash consideration will bear interest at a rate of 9.75percent a year until the date of settlement, with interest payable on a monthly basis,” the group said.

The effective date of the agreement will be the end of this month.

Source: Business Report

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