Aspen. Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS
Aspen. Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS

JSE-listed Aspen Pharmacare, whose market value has declined 35% since March 7, said on Monday its shares would start trading on SA’s A2X exchange from April.

“We continually strive to identify ways to increase value for our shareholders and the complementary A2X listing offers investors trading benefits while simultaneously providing the prospect of increasing our shareholder base,” said Aspen CEO Stephen Saad.

“We will retain our primary listing on the JSE and our issued share capital will be unaffected by the secondary listing,” Saad said.

Aspen’s shares, which have been rocked by debt concerns, were 0.1% up at R91.20 on Monday morning.

Earlier in March, the global pharmaceutical company’s shares plunged as much as 51% to R68.99 in just two hours after Aspen said in an earnings report that borrowings, net of cash, had increased by R6.7bn to R53.5bn.

Prior to releasing its results, Aspen’s shares were at R141.15.

Meanwhile, winning over Aspen is another step forward for A2X, which provides a platform for secondary listings.

A2X CEO Kevin Brady said on Monday that there was “no doubt that Aspen will reap the benefits of a secondary listing, including the opportunity to attract potential new investors through A2X’s lower-cost trading structure and broadening their shareholder base”.

With Aspen on board, A2X will have 18 listings, with a combined market capitalisation of more than R2.1-trillion.

A2X began trading in October 2017. Other companies with secondary listings on the exchange include Growthpoint Properties, Naspers and Standard Bank Group.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za