Conglomerate Press Corporation plc (PCL) and Cane Products Limited (CPL) yesterday announced they have finnally ‘amicably resolved’ a longstanding shareholding dispute in Chikwawa-based PressCane Limited.
Speaking during a news conference in Blantyre yesterday, PCL chief executive officer Ronald Mangani said they are delighted that the issues have been resolved, which will enable PressCane Limited to grow even further.
He said: “We are happy that we are now speaking with one voice and moving forward to drive profitability of PressCane.
“There are no other disputes in the courts as regards this issue and we will now make sure that PressCane Limited continues to perform well and grows it’s shareholders value.”
Cane Products Limited board chairperson Rolf Patel said the resolution marks the beginning of a new chapter.
“We are happy that we are now speaking with one voice. What happens after this agreement is extremely important,” he said.
PCL board chairperson Randson Mwadiwa said the dispute has been a huge cost to PressCane, an ethanol distillery firm which began its operations in June 2004.
He said now that the dispute is water under the bridge, PressCane management must work hard to ensure that the firm continues to grow.
PressCane board chairperson Paul Guta said the resolution will ensure that the firm’s reputation is maintained while at the same time restoring investor confidence and boosting employees morale.
The shareholder dispute has lingered for close to two decades, resulting in court battles between Malawi Stock Exchange-listed PCL and Cane Products Limited.
However, on December 15 last year, the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal delivered its judgement, effectively maintaining the status quo with regards to shareholding in the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with PCL owning 50.1 percent and Cane Products Limited 49.9 percent stake.
In 2001, PCL and Cane Products Limited entered into a JVA to conduct business through a vehicle called PressCane Limited.
The Supreme Court judgement directed the parties to amicably agree on the implementation of the judgment.