Wilderness Holdings said this week it was in discussions over a possibility of a sale to one of its shareholders, Wine Investments (Pty) Ltd. The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed group, which trades as Wilderness Safaris and prides itself with Mombo camp in The Okavango Delta, was placed on trading halt as it prepared to make the announcement. The trading halt was later lifted after the announcement.
“Shareholders of Wilderness are advised that the Company has received a notice of intention to make an offer to acquire all the issued ordinary shares in the capital of Wilderness (the “Notice”) by Wine Investments (Pty) Ltd (“the potential offeror”),” it said.
Wilderness said it was together with the potential offeror currently in discussions regarding a possible mandatory offer to all of its shareholders which, if successfully concluded, and subject to relevant regulatory approval, may have a material impact on the price of the Company’s securities.
“Accordingly, shareholders are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s securities and should consult their professional advisers before dealing in their securities until such time that the results of the negotiations are known and disclosed,” it added.
Wilderness Holdings is a market leading, high-end eco-tourism company that operates and markets Safari Consulting, Transfer and Touring, Camp, Lodge and Safari exploration services, Finance and asset management. Established in 1983, the group operates in eight countries, with 61 camps serviced by a fleet of 42 aircraft. The footprint spans across much of Southern Africa and parts of East Africa, which for years has been the destination of choice for foreign tourists, attracting them to game reserves and fuelling the construction of safari resorts. In April 2010 Wilderness embarked on a capital raising exercise, with the strategic objective of doubling the number of bed nights by 2015.
The group took the path of an Initial Public Offering (IPO), raising P 124 million. Wilderness shareholders include amongst others Wine Investments Ltd., which owns 34.5 percent, PUMA SE, Winslow Financial Investments Ltd., Malcolm William McCulloch, and Lion of Africa Fund Managers Pty Ltd. The company has a market capitalization of over P1 billion.