On Friday, the company urged shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in its securities until a further announcement was made. Photo: File.

JOHANNESBURG – Troubled fast food franchising group Gold Brands said on Friday negotiations that may result in the acquisition of one of its subsidiaries or a stake in the group were still in progress, and if successfully concluded may have a material effect on its share price.

In August trading in the securities of the owner of ChesaNyama and Bella Italia, among other brands, was suspended by the JSE after the group failed to submit its annual report.

Gold Brands, which listed in JSE's alternative exchange AltX in February 2016, has pursued significant restructuring by moving its headquarters to smaller premises, cutting staff and closing underperforming stores, as a result of rising debt and mounting legal challenges from creditors.

In the year to February 2017, revenue declined by 39 percent to R92 million, gross profit fell 73 percent and operating costs shot up from R49 million to R62 million. The group also slid into technical insolvency with total liabilities exceeding total assets by R8 million and its net asset value at a negative seven cents a share. 

Its flagship ChesaNyama brand was hit by an economic downturn shortly after its listing, and Gold Brands closed half of its ChesaNyama stores, from more than 300 franchise stores, in the 2017 financial year. The group's market capitalisation has declined to R21.5 million. 

Last year Gold Brands announced the sale of Black Steer for R3.2 million in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. The group started speaking to third parties in June about the acquisition of one of its subsidiaries. 

On Friday, the company urged shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in its securities until a further announcement was made.

African News Agency (ANA)