SOUTH AFRICA – Grand Parade Investments (GPI), an established empowerment company, has announced the prospective sale of the Sun Slots stake for US$34.4m in August, reports Fin24

Sun Slots operates pay-out machine gaming licences in provinces across South Africa. The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay down debt held against the shares, and to pay a special dividend.

According to a statement by GPI, now that shareholders have voted for the Sun Slots deal, GPI will move to restructure its balance sheet by reducing debt. This will allow the company to revert to being dividend active, it said.

GPI’s non-executive chair Hassen Adams also addressed his future at the company, in his chairman’s report. 

In May this year the group had announced that Adam would retire as executive chair and would become non-executive chair at the end of June, after many years at the operational helm of GPI.

“I will continue as the non-executive chair and will use my best endeavours to give strategic direction and policy implementation and ensure good corporate governance. 

“It is important to me to transfer my years of experience and wisdom to the new and young in-coming executive, to create a seamless handover,” Adams said.

“This allows us to enter the phase where GPI migrates towards a pure investment company. GPI’s future is bright. Our focus on returning to be an investment company will re-rate our share price closer to our intrinsic net asset value,” he said.

“We continue to invest in people to ensure a well-developed staff complement that embraces 21st century applications, and with skills appropriate to execute our strategy. We are motivated and fit for purpose.”

He admitted that, whilst the execution of its Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins investments may have been unsuccessful, it has not substantially impeded the net asset value of the business. The stores were closed earlier this year.

Its Burger King investment, on the other hand, is rising like a phoenix against all the negativity and impatience of the market, in his view. Adams expects Burger King to also become a profitable leverage opportunity soon.

“Since my return from my bout of illness, we have embarked on a process of unshackling ourselves from the negative debate in the marketplace. We have stayed focused on dogearing the business and to return GPI to be cash positive. We have also ensured growth and allowed the company to continue to be dividend active.”

Adams successfully negotiated the sale of a 10% stake in the Spur Corporation and the remaining 30% stake in Sun Slots.