First special economic zone company listed on LSE

United Cacao Limited SEZC is the first business in Cayman’s special economic zone to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, where the company’s shares will be traded on the AIM market for smaller, growing companies.

United Cacao raised $10 million before expenses, through the issue of 5,000,000 new ordinary shares at a price of 128 pence per share. On admission, United Cacao had 18,430,000 ordinary shares in issue. Based on the placing price, the market capitalization of the company was £23.6 million.

Dennis Melka, executive chairman and CEO of United Cacao, said, “As the first publicly listed pure-play cacao company, United Cacao offers investors exposure to a global market that has well known and recently publicized supply constraints together with the challenge of rising demand.”

Conyers Dill & Pearman provided Cayman Islands legal advice on the admission of the share capital and a related placement of shares by United Cacao, the holding company for Peruvian cacao producer Cacao del Peru Norte SAC.

The law firm had previously advised the company in its re-registration as a special economic zone company. United Cacao was licensed by the Special Economic Zone Authority to carry on special economic zone business in both the Cayman Commodities and Derivatives Park and the Cayman Outsource Park on April 28, 2014.

The cacao plantation company said it is aiming to become the world’s largest and lowest cost corporate grower of cacao by the end of 2016, when it plans to complete the planting of its existing freehold 3,250-hectare (8,030-acre) estate.

The proceeds of the initial public offering are earmarked to finance the planting of about 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres). The company’s plantation is near the city of Iquitos in northern Peru at the Amazon River.

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