HAS Nicholas Van Hoogstraten found new love with the Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) yet again?
It appears the RTG majority shareholder has re-organised his shareholding in the group and increased it after the group announced that it was refurbishing its hotels and lodges, constructing a new hotel and building 750 additional rooms.
Van Hoogstraten had indicated that he was selling part of his shareholding.
Rainbow Towers Hotel is being refurbished. A ‘Zambezi River lodge has also embarked on refurbishment and product upgrade from a three-star property to a four-star one targeted to be complete by May 2011, while a hotel is being built in Beitbridge.
RTG is also planning to refurbish Bulawayo Rainbow, although not as comprehensively as Harare and A ‘Zambezi.
As of Tuesday, Van Hoogstraten held about 554 million shares in RTG, representing 35% of the total issued share capital of the company. He has re-registered them through Les Nominees, now with 18,23%, Zimcor Limited -12,67%, Hamilton Nicholas Rhodes -1,01%, Hamilton Alexander Sethi -0,61%, Hamilton Maximilian Rhett -0,62% and Hamilton Orrie Lincoln -0,62%.
Van Hoogstraten’s vehicles are managed by Harare businessman Frank Tawanda Buyanga.
This is the route that Van Hoogstraten — the single largest investor on the stock exchange — often takes when he is about to dispose of his shares in companies or consolidate shareholding in anticipation of higher earnings.
Van Hoogstraten could face stiff competition from Econet boss Strive Masiyiwa and AFRE Chief Executive Officer Patterson Timba, who jointly hold 31, 55%. Timba is also chairman of RTG.
Their shareholding is packaged as follows: Afre Corporation Ltd -8,75%, EW Capital Holdings Ltd – 6,78%, First Mutual Life –Policy Holders -6,64%, First Mutual – Managed Fund -4,87%, E W Capital (Pvt) Holdings Ltd -2,89% and FML Reinsurance Property -1,62%.
Announcing the company’s interim financial results last week on Thursday, Group CEO Chipo Mtasa said the group was embarking on an expansion and refurbishment programme that was attracting a lot of investor interest.
Speaking to businessdigest on Tuesday, Mtasa said there had been changes in RTG’s shareholding following the new shares that were issued this year.
“Van Hoogstraten grabbed all the shares; he is the major shareholder of the group. With tourism coming back to Zimbabwe, he must have decided to invest more in the group,” she said.
Analysts said Van Hoogstraten, who had been failing to get “his people” on the RTG board, should be prepared to take Masiyiwa and Timba head on if he is to have his way.
“It is not debatable that tourism is coming back to Zimbabwe and mostly for RTG. It is only the pace that could be debatable and it explains why there is so much interest in the company,” Mtasa said.
She said RTG was tapping into international and high yield markets to drive volumes up.
“We are re-launching our product on the international market. We are targeting Japan, France, Russia and parts of China,” she said.
During the period under review RTG’s turnover increased to US$10,5 million, representing a 67% growth compared to the same period last year, owing to an improvement in room occupancy rates.