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North West co-operative NWK is returning to its core maize business following a spate of acquisitions in recent years that wiped out substantial shareholder value. The 4AX-listed entity has sold its chicken and animal feed businesses, Opti Agri, to Country Bird Holdings (CBH) for R296.4m. Anthony Clark of Vunani Securities said NWK had not been successful in its bid to diversify away from its core maize business and that it had been faced with substantial write-downs and losses in the past two years. NWK’s current share price of 350c is about a third of its net asset value of 977c a share. "The poultry division has not fared well for NWK over the past two years," said Clark, who described the transaction as a smart move for both parties. He urged NWK to continue to clean up its portfolio and focus on its core operation. Clark said NWK had been a disastrous investment. "The share price has halved over the past four years to the current level of 350c, while the sector and its comparat...

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