Trustco Offer Raises Millions

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By Mbatjiua Ngavirue WINDHOEK Trustco Group Holdings has raised a total of N$77 451 520 in its recently concluded Initial Public Offering (IPO) in which it sold 24 303 600 shares at a price of N$3.20 each. The share offering, amounting to 30% of the total issued share capital of Trustco, attracted 2 800 subscribers including members of the public, institutions, staff and even foreign investors. The shares were reported to be trading at around N$3.60 yesterday afternoon, giving speculators the opportunity for a quick profit. The success of the company continues to defy the expectations of those who wrote the company off as a gimmick in its early years, thinking it would be a short-lived phenomenon. The company has grown rapidly, largely due to a populist appeal fostered by vehicles such as television’s Winna Mariba show and the newspaper InformantÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚©. Trustco seems set to remain a major player on the local business scene with an estimated market capitalisation of N$440 million after the IPO, making it one of the largest home-grown companies in the country. The IPO now also makes 41-year-old founder and Managing Director of Trustco Quinton van Rooyen one of the richest men in Namibia together with people such as Frans Indongo and Harold Pupkewitz. Van Rooyen’s estimated personal wealth at the original offer price of N$3.20 is N$350 million, but as the share price climbed it rose to close to N$400 million. The prospectus for the IPO described Trustco Group Holdings as a “high growth Namibian company” with a core focus on insurance, education and financial services. The company’s other investments include property, property development, air- craft charter services, management services, wholesale distribution, publishing and printing. Trustco Group Holding’s well-known brands include Legal Shield, The Institute for Open Learning and Everyday Maize. The company said the main purpose of the IPO was to offer all Namibians an opportunity to participate in Trustco Group Holding’s future growth and prosperity. Another aim was to broaden the capital base of Trustco Group Holdings to make further growth and expansion of its operations possible. It also wanted to provide an incentive to staff members in the future by giving them the opportunity to participate in a Trustco Share Incentive Scheme. Prime Minister Nahas Angula officiated at the traditional ringing of the bell when Trustco shares started trading on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) yesterday. Angula congratulated the company for breaking a four-year drought of primary listings on the NSX, adding that the company’s awareness campaigns rekindled public interest in the NSX and its workings. Trustco, he said, has created enormous wealth over the past few years by continuing to push the envelope and thinking outside the box. “This is the type of entrepreneurship that will free us from the poverty trap and help us to become a nation geared to create and share wealth,” he said.