Wilderness Safaris public offer aims for BSE and JSE Africa Board

Conservation tourism pioneer Wilderness Safaris (www.wilderness-group.com) is aiming to get a primary listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (www.bse.co.bw) and a simultaneous secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Africa Board (http://www.jse.co.za/Markets/Africa-Board) on 8 April. The share offer in Botswana and South Africa closes on 26 March. If successful, it will be the Africa Board’s second listing.
The company opened its offer on 26 February. According to Botswana’s Sunday Standard newspaper, the public offer is for 3 million ordinary shares at P4 ($0.5765 in today’s rate on www.xe.com) in Botswana and R4.56 ($0.6167) in South Africa and is fully underwritten. It closes on 26 March. Before the public offer, the company placed 56.3 million ordinary shares by way of a private placement, also at a price of P4 per share, says the newspaper.
According to an announcement on the company website it is “a strategically significant step in its evolution, designed to enable it to take full advantage of growth opportunities, to give the public an opportunity to participate in its future success, to develop a broader shareholder base and to simplify corporate structure.” Wilderness aims to use its tourism model to the fullest in contributing to conservation in Africa.
Growth in this manner is designed to allow the company to fulfil its objective of using its tourism model to the fullest extent possible in contributing to conservation in Africa.
Andy Payne, the CEO of Wilderness Holdings, says: “We 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.”
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 7 southern African countries and operates specialist travel businesses in 6 countries and 49 aircraft. It employs more than 2,700 people, most of whom come from remote rural communities.
The Chief Executive Officer, Andy Payne was reported in Sunday Standard as saying 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 that complement its biodiversity and experience. It owns 53 destinations comprising of 930 beds and further manages 17 destinations with 280 beds.
The website says that Wilderness is “run by a group of likeminded wildlife enthusiasts who came together to build a successful safari business, delivering a unique experience for guests, fair returns for shareholders and stakeholders, while ensuring that southern Africa’s pristine wilderness areas remain sustainably protected.”
Thanks also to www.southafrica.info.

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