LUSAKA, ZAMBIA — Cargill’s pending acquisition of Zamanita Ltd., the soybean crushing and refining subsidiary of Zambeef Products P.L.C., moved closer to completion after Cargill’s board of directors formally approved the deal and Zambeef’s shareholders voted to approve the transaction in an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders.

Under terms of the transaction, Cargill has agreed to pay $25.7 million for 100% of Zambeef’s shareholding in Zamanita. The base purchase price will be adjusted for working capital and net financial debt at completion.

Zamanita is one of the largest edible oil and soya meal producers in Zambia that serves the domestic Zambian refined oils market and both domestic and export markets for soybean meal. On completion of the transaction, Cargill will acquire all of Zamanita’s debt, assets and brands.  Zamanita employees also will transfer to Cargill as part of the agreement.

The transaction is still subject to satisfaction of a number of conditions precedent, including the receipt of approval from the relevant competition authorities, which is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.

“We are very excited about this opportunity,” said Johan Steyn, head of Cargill’s grain and oilseeds business in Africa and the Middle East. “Cargill is a 150-year-old agricultural and food production company and we’ve been operating in Africa for over 30 years. Oilseed crushing and refining is one of our core global capabilities, and buying this business will allow us to bring our world class expertise to the Zambian market while meeting our strategic intent to grow in Africa to serve our customers.  We believe that African agricultural production is a critical part of any future solution to feeding the growing global population.”

Jacob Mwanza, chairman of Zambeef, added, “The disposal will allow Zambeef to focus on growing its core business, which is the retailing of cold chain meat and dairy products, delivered through the group’s extensive processing, distribution and retail network. The move will also unlock value by freeing capital and cash flow for investment elsewhere and to reduce gearing.”

Lezanne van Zyl, general manager of Cargill’s business in Zambia, said the Zambeef business fits very well with Cargill’s growth strategy in Zambia.

“It will enable Cargill to further increase our range of services, crop inputs, advice and market access for farmers as well as providing a reliable, sustainable source of edible oils for Zambian customers and consumers,” Ms. van Zyl said. “By leveraging our existing maize and cotton origination network, we will provide opportunities for farmers to access the soybean market. We also will be able to improve our offering to our feed customers in the region. Zambia is an important strategic market for us and we see excellent potential in the country’s agricultural sector.”

Cargill plans to invest in the crush and the refinery to expand their capacity and to bring them in line with the company’s network of over 1,000 facilities in 67 countries around the world.