WestProp Fails To List At The VFEX

By Gift Dube

HARARE – It never rains but pours for WestProp Holdings a company owned by controversial businessman Kenneth Raydon Sharpe failed to list at the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) last week, after Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) raised a litany of breaches by the company.

WestProp only raised less than 10% of the amount it was seeking.

The controversial company raised only US$14 050 instead of US$10 million after selling 1 405 out of one million ordinary shares on Friday.

It raised a further $276 590 from 55 318 preference shares when it aimed to raise US$30 million. A further 600 000 preference shares were taken up by the underwriter. The company raised a total of US$3 290 640 against a target of US$30 million.

Westprop Holdings published its initial public offer on 28 March intending to list on the Victoria Falls Exchange (VFEX), which is US-dollar denominated, on Friday, 28 April.

The listing of Westprop on the VFEX is being challenged by a group of investors represented by prominent Harare Lawyers from Mutumbwa, Mugabe and Partners. 

The investors said Westprop Holdings did not disclose all the litigation cases against the company in its prospectus and should therefore not be allowed to list at the VFEX.

Westprop, through its lawyers, Scanlen and Holderness, dismissed the challenge saying it showed lack of basic understanding or knowledge of simple corporate and commercial law matters.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe, however, ruled that Westprop should have included the litigations cited by those opposing its listing so that investors could make informed decisions before any transactions or trading with the company.

The commission said VFEX should ask Westprop to make a supplementary litigation report with all the necessary disclosures before listing. 

The company’s chairman Michael Louis has since confirmed the developments through social media platforms but failed to give public the actual cause of the postponement.

“WestProp Holdings Ltd have in agreement with VFEX postponed the listing ceremony to a future date.

We wish to advise all our existing and prospective clients that WestProp Holdings Ltd will soon set a new date for the listing ceremony which could not proceed as planned on 29 April 2023 due to circumstances beyond our control.

To achieve a seamless listing we have agreed with the VFEX to streamline some statutory issues raised in line with our listing.

Our developments continue to be completed as per set timelines. Our projects are not affected by the postponed listing.

All the people and institutions that have invested with us are reassured of the security of their investments.

We would like to take this opportunity to advise our clients that we are committed to delivering on the promise we have made towards their investment in our current and on going developments.

We are committed to our strategy statement to put 1 billion bricks in the ground by 2050,” wrote Louis.

Sharpe, his sister in-law Tatiana Aleshina and their companies are currently in in legal battles with several investors and individuals over the ownership of vast tracks of land he aquired in Harare through corruption and name dropping allegations.

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