Business: Omnia is turning tide in the middle of the virus storm, expected to grow

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 08:22 am

South Africa’s Omnia Holdings Ltd. is emerging from the coronavirus pandemic on pinnacle after the agricultural and chemicals enterprise flipped from big financial losses and surging debt to better liquidity and with enlargement plans on the horizon.

A mixture of debt restructuring through a two billion rand ($118 million) rights issue, operational cost cutting and administration adjustments had been phase of the antidote, Chief Executive Officer Seelan Gobalsamy told Bloomberg News in an interview on Sept. 22.

Omnia’s agricultural, mining explosives and basic chemicals organizations proved very resilient amid the coronavirus outbreak, he added.

“Getting the rights difficulty performed and restructuring the debt put us in a sturdy position, then you have the capability to win thru a storm and pandemic,” stated Gobalsamy, who had to step in after the preceding head left the organization in August final year.

“The faster you take the medicine, the higher to get thru the storm.” Omnia was in deep monetary trouble about 18 months in the past when it spent 780 million rand to purchase Umongo Petroleum Ltd., and paid close to one billion rand to construct a new nitrophosphate plant. Its interest-bearing borrowings almost doubled in the house of a year, after it replaced the cash it used to fund acquisitions with financial institution debt.

However, the job is now not yet done, in accordance to Gobalsamy. The 66-year-old agency is nevertheless promoting off non-core belongings such as land, railway tankers and warehouses to enhance its liquidity base.

“That will likely release any other few hundred-million rand,” he said. “We are unlocking capital in our business to assist us with flexibility to do meaningful acquisitions and growth.”