AST Group p.l.c. Prospects MTF bonds admitted to the Malta Stock Exchange
The AST Group p.l.c. €1.835 million 5.5% 2028 Prospects MTF bond was admitted to the Prospects MTF, a market regulated as an MTF and operated by the Malta Stock Exchange, on Friday 9th February 2018. Trading of the bond commenced on Monday, 12th February 2018.
The Group will use the proceeds of the bond to finance the acquisition of a multipurpose vessel. The ownership of such a vessel will allow the AST Group to vertically integrate its operations, complementing the animal feed operation, by setting up shipping operations and a logistics centre in Malta. AST Group plans to warehouse the storage of animal feed products at its Malta centre and manage the distribution of these products into markets around the Mediterranean and in mainland Europe.
“On behalf of the AST Group, I would like to express my gratitude to all investors who supported our business plan by placing their money in the AST bond issue. We consider this success as a vote of confidence for our plans. The Prospects MTF listing is only the first step for the AST Group. We will continue to expand our distribution channels and penetrate new markets across Europe, using Malta as our logistics base,” said Mr Emmanuoil Kalamaras, CEO of the Group.
Founded in 2011, the AST Group is active in international trading of animal feed products to different European markets. The principal products traded by the Group are roasted guar meal korma, fish meal, Distiller’s Dried Grains and Soluble (DDGS) and HiPro Sunflower meal, sourced from suppliers based in India, Morocco, Hungary and Bulgaria respectively. The company’s clients range from smaller animal feed producers or farmers who are equipped to produce their own feed, to multinational companies with a global footprint and annual multi-billion Euro revenues.
Over the past years, AST Group has grown its presence in several European markets and now has branches in Greece, Cyprus, Hungary, Spain, France, as well as Malta.
The company was recently awarded a Maltese licence to operate as a feed store and to import animal feed. The logistics centre will be situated close to the Malta Freeport Terminals and will allow the AST Group to branch out into numerous growth areas, particularly in relation to fish meal.
Giuseppe Muscat serves as Non-Executive Director and Chairman of AST Group, together with William Wait and Dr Luca Vella as Independent Non-Executive Directors.
AST Group p.l.c. thanked all advisors for their support throughout the preparation and issue of the bond, namely Financial Planning Services Limited as the appointed Placement Agent, Manager and Registrar of the issue, Grant Thornton as Corporate Advisors to the Issuer and the Malta Stock Exchange as the operators of the Prospects MTF market.