London Stock Exchange Suspends Trading of United Cacao

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London Stock Exchange Suspends Trading of United Cacao

As reported by Chain Reaction Research, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) reported that United Cacao Ltd. Managing Director and former Chairman Dennis Melka resigned from his post on Thursday, January 5, 2017. He resigned after United Cacao’s directors “unanimously resolved” to seek his “immediate termination”.

United Cacao began trading on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) December 2, 2014. Its AIM initial public offering raised $10 million before expenses by issuing 5 million ordinary shares at 128 pence a piece. Proceeds from its initial public offering financed United Cacao’s plantation operations and expansion. Based on the placing price, United Cacao’s market capitalization at this time was about £23.6 million.

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United Cacao is currently the only publicly listed permanent crop estate in Latin America.

As of June 30 2016, United Cacao had 1,837 ha planted. This made it the largest pure-play cacao estate in Latin America. 1,643 ha is planted on its corporate estate. Another 194 ha is planted via its small-farmer program called Programa Alianza Producción Estratégica Cacao (PAPEC).

As of September 24, 2016, United Cacao reported initial sales to date of 605 kg of dried fermented beans sold to an agent for a premium Swiss company. At this time, its investors guidance suggested that its first direct commercial sales are expected to conclude by July 2017.

Moving forward, United Cacao has requested rights to expand its operations by deforesting 96,192 additional ha of the Peruvian Amazon. But United Cacao has faced concerns regarding its business activities in Peru.

  • In December 2014, the Government of Peru ordered United Cacao’s Cacao del Perú Norte S.A.C., Plantaciones de Ucayali S.A.C., and Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C. to cease operations for potentially illegal deforestation.
  • In February 2016, the Government of Peru confirmed that these three United Cacao companies