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Drought-risk makes Agra tread lightly

Opening soon: Agra’s flagship Lafrenz headquarters and new branch are scheduled to be handed over from the contractor to Agra come March 2015, with the official opening taking place in May 2015.

With Agra’s main market being the agricultural sector, the former cooperative has deliberately started to invest in other ventures even with a healthy bottom line of N$8.8 million in a period CEO Peter Kazmaier described as frustrating. Agra Board Chairman, Ryno van der Merwe echoed the sentiments of Kazmaier after the release of the financial results for 2013/14 describing the company’s future as profitable while, in the mean time, carefully calculating its expansion strategies.Agra spokeswoman, Abelene Boer clarified Kazmaier’s statement in which he refereed to the fact that the Auas Valley Shopping Mall upgrade was not completed on time. “Our tenants had to trade while building activities were carrying on, and that our customers could not be offered an unhindered shopping experience. Delaying a project of such magnitude has direct negative financial consequences which gain causes frustration.” Boer explained.

Agra also added major upgrades and additional development to its 4500m² Opuwo retail branch.
Boer emphasised that other operational divisions performed well and contributed to the positive financial results.
She said that these new investments will generate more revenue, mentioning that interest charges in the first few years have a bigger impact than closer to redemption. “We are confident that an improvement in the debt to equity ratio will be achieve towards the end of the financial year” she responded.
Agra’s livestock division ;posted an increase of 10% despite the number of animals marketed staying the same year-on-year. This was on the back of higher unit prices.
Turnover from the livestock business grew to N$31.7 million from N$28.8 million. The net operating surplus before head office costs of the livestock division decreased from N$6.0 million in 2013 to N$4. 7 million in 2014. “[We will] ensure that economies of scale are utilised fully with increasing turnover, and broaden the base of our activities by investing in non-agricultural dependent ventures,” Boer said.

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.