SJ Berwin and Travers act on Zimbabwean AIM deal

SJ Berwin and Travers Smith have bagged roles on the AIM listing of Zimbabwean investment company Masawara.

The listing is the first by a Zimbabwean entity on the junior market for three years and is understood to be only the third London listing by any company from the troubled southern African country.

SJ Berwin advised Masawara on the admission and on a $25m (£16m) fundraising. Corporate partner Delphine Currie led the team for the City firm alongside Africa group head Bayo Odubeko.

Travers Smith corporate finance partner Anthony Foster took the mandate for broker Cenkos Securities.

SJ Berwin’s role came about through an existing relationship with Masawara non-executive director Shingai Mutasa, who owns the internal management company.

Currie said the listing was a sign that the Zimbabwean economy has been stabilising after a period of volatility and hyper-inflation.

“There’s a more stable coalition government and the economy is starting to pick up, so there are opportunities,” she commented. “The past decade has been difficult for Zimbabwe but we hope that this transaction signals that Zimbabwe is once again open for business.”

Masawara, which invests in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries, focusing on the mining, telecommunication and agriculture sectors, began trading on AIM last week.