Terra buys significant stake in United Investments to diversify activities
This acquisition demonstrates the intent of the Terra Group to diversify its activities in the backdrop of its mainstay sugar sector facing challenging times. (Image: Orange)
Terra, a major player in the sugar sector in Mauritius, has acquired significant stake in United Investments Limited (UIL) from GML, Mauritius’ largest conglomerate.
This acquisition demonstrates the intent of the Terra Group to diversify its activities in the backdrop of its mainstay sugar sector facing challenging times, with the EU recently confirming its intent to abolish the sugar quota in 2017.
UIL has a well-diversified portfolio with investments in the financial sector (AXYS Group, New World Trust), manufacturing (Island Fertilizers and Pelagic Process Group Ltd), commercial (Mecom Group and the Industrial Gas), technological (Megabyte Ltd), and hospitality (Attitude Resorts Ltd).
With this acquisition, the intention of the Terra Group to redeem the shares held by GML in UIL has materialized.
Last October, Terra had released a cautionary announcement on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius of its intent to “acquire 36,357,632 ordinary shares of United Investments Limited which represents 24 percent of the issued share capital of UIL.”
Cyril Mayer, Managing Director, Terra, said, “This new partnership will not only expand our expertise, but also enable us to to penetrate key markets in Mauritius.”
“Furthermore, our portfolio investments continues to be enriched by shares acquired in companies with successful activities, such as our new partner UIL, which has, over the years consolidated its position and gained the trust of its shareholders,” he added.
For its part, the management of UIL welcomed this partnership as part of the strategic plan of the group and expressed confident with respect to synergies that will be realized.
“We are delighted to have Terra as a partner of choice, adding value to our investment portfolio. We are confident that this partnership will give new impetus to our strategy,” concluded Michel Guy Rivalland, Group CEO UIL.
UIL achieved a turnover of Rs 2.5 billion and net profit of Rs 283 million in 2013.
Terra, established in 1838, is a Mauritius-based conglomerate which is a major player in the sugar industry in Mauritius, cultivating some 6,000 hectares of sugar cane in the northern part of the island.
The group has, over the years, made efforts to diversify its activities, from a company primarily focused on sugar to a conglomerate with interests in production energy, alcohol production, commercial distribution, real estate development, construction and financial services.
Terra is listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius and is part of the SEM7.
Terra is also present in Africa, in Côte d’Ivoire through its investments in two sugar plants, and in Madagascar, having acquired a minority stake in Orange Madagascar.
UIL is an investment company listed on the secondary market of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius and operates in five key areas in Mauritius: financial (AXYS Group), manufacturing (Island Fertilizers and Pelagic Process Group Ltd), commercial (Mecom Group and The Industrial Gases Ltd), technology (Megabyte Ltd), and hotel (Attitude Resorts Ltd).
In 2010, UIL undertook a restructuring of its shareholding and consolidation of its investment portfolio.
UIL also recently consolidated its exposure in the offshore sector through AXYS Group, which bought a share majority of NWT (formerly New World Trust Ltd) and Caversham, with both companies located across Geneva, Hong Kong, Nevis, and the Virgin Islands.