Wilderness Safaris, the regional tourism giant outfit is to seek a primary listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) that is aimed at helping its growth phase across the southern African region.
The company’s independent public offering that involves 3 million shares being placed on BSE will also seek secondary listing on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange’s (JSE’s) Africa Board.
The company said Friday that the exercise was a strategically significant step in its evolution, designed to enable it to take full advantage of growth opportunities and to give the public an opportunity to participate in its future success.
The Chief Executive Officer, Andy Payne said the company’s strategic objective was to double the number of owned Wilderness bed nights by 2015, as well as to double the area under its influence by expanding into regions, which complement its existing biodiversity footprint and experience offering.
The company owns 53 destinations comprising of 930 beds and further manages 17 destinations with 280 beds sprawled across the sub region.
“We recognise that achieving this aim will require greater access to capital markets, a broader shareholder base and a simplified corporate structure. We also believe that our unique positioning, iconic international brand and management’s long track record of financial and operational delivery present investors with an attractive growth and performance platform,” he said.
Wilderness Safaris’ core philosophy is one of building sustainable conservation economies through responsible tourism, which shares the benefits of tourism with local communities and ensures that pristine wilderness areas are protected profitably.
The 26-year-old business is invested in 53 destinations and manages and markets a further 17 in seven Southern African countries. It also operates specialist travel businesses in six countries as well as a fleet of 49 aircraft. It employs more than 2 700 people, most of whom come from remote rural communities.
In Botswana its operations are mostly concentrated around the Chobe and Okavango region and it owns Sefofane air charter.
Its other operations are in Namibia, Malawi, SeychellesÔÇöwhere it owns an island, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The company achieved a revenue of BWP995.05 million (ZAR1 220.45 million) for the year to February 2009.
The public offer for 3 million ordinary shares is at a price of P4 in Botswana and R4.56 in South Africa and is fully underwritten. Prior to the public offer, the company placed 56 343 256 ordinary shares by way of a private placement, also at a price of P4 per share. The offer opened on Friday and is scheduled to close on March 26 before trading on both exchanges on April 8.