31 Oct 2023 09:51

Kernel expects Polish regulator's decision on delisting from Warsaw exchange in Nov

MOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) - Poland's Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) has again extended its review of Ukrainian agribusiness group Kernel's application for permission to delist from the Warsaw Stock Exchange due to an analysis of additional information.

Based on information received from the KNF, the delisting process is being extended due to an analysis of additional evidence and is expected to be completed in November, Ukrainian media reported, citing a company statement.

Kernel said in its annual report that, as a result of a recent issue of 216 million new shares, Andrei Verevsky's Namsen Limited has increased its stake in the agribusiness group from 74.05% to 91.61%, or 93.67% taking into account treasury stock.

The report also said that Kernel sold all the crypto assets on its books in financial 2023 (July 2022-June 2023), posting a loss of $2.4 million compared to $34.1 million a year earlier. All these assets consisted of stablecoins pegged to the dollar and were converted into fiat currency.

Earlier this year, Verevsky increased his stake in Kernel from 41.3% to 74.05% in a buyback offer with a view to subsequently delisting the group's shares from the Warsaw exchange. He bought more than 30 million shares on May 12 at a purchase price of PLN18.50 ($4.47 at the rate at the time) per share, as previously announced, so the buyout totaled $136.1 million. The company's IPO in 2007 was priced at PLN24 per share.

In a later new offering of 216 million shares among qualified investor shareholders, Namsen acquired about 212.635 million shares at a price of $0.2777 per share or $59.05 million in total. This transaction was closed on September 1.

The new shares will not be traded on any stock exchange, Kernel said. Prior to the new offering, Kernel had 84,031,230 common shares in circulation.

Kernel minority shareholders have announced plans to dispute the new share placement with Luxembourg regulators and in the courts.

Kernel's shares closed at PLN7.165 (about $1.70 at the current rate) on October 27.

Kernel is one of Ukraine's largest producers of bottled vegetable oil and a major producer and exporter of sunflower oil. The group also cultivates and sells other agricultural products.

Kernel reported a net profit of $299 million for financial 2023, compared to a net loss of $41 million a year earlier. The group's revenue fell 35% to $3.455 billion, while EBITDA jumped 150% to $544 million.