Senior Business Reporter
The Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ), has completed re-evaluation of acquisition proposals of Willowvale Motor Industries (WMI) and Deven Engineering by potential investors.
Prior to the appointment of the board, the management had submitted winning bidders for the two motor vehicle entities to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the parent ministry, for approval.
However, the proposals were sent back to the company following the appointment of the new board led by industrialist, Mr Charles Msipa for review.
Mr Msipa told The Herald Finance and Business that the committee tasked to review the proposals — chaired by deputy chairperson Elizabeth Rabvukwa, has since completed the process.
Recommendations were sent to the parent ministry about two weeks ago, he added.
Mr Msipa, who is the managing director of Schweppes Zimbabwe and former president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, said the board was satisfied with the selection process.
“We looked at what the management had done. The committee was satisfied and recommendations were sent to the ministry,” said Mr Msipa.
“The process (by the management) was well documented as it involved all relevant parties including the State Enterprises Restructuring Agency and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The management followed the process and that gave us confidence.”
In 2018, the Government approved restructuring strategies of IDCZ subsidiaries and associate companies through the State Enterprises and Parastatal Reform Framework.
The restructuring is not only confined to total disposal of subsidiaries and associate companies, but also entails liquidation, privatisation and partial privatisation. However, the privatisation has moved at a snail’s pace as most offers are well below market value.
In some instances, investors who would have been short-listed are failing to provide the proof of funding.
IDCZ short-listed Faramatsi, an investment vehicle linked to Doves Funeral Assurance and Glenwood Investments to acquire IDCZ’s 74 percent shareholding in Deven.
Three companies including Croco Motors and a leading tobacco merchant, were selected for WMI.
Already, IDCZ has disposed of its 51 percent shareholding in Almin Metal Industries, 49 percent interest in Stone Holdings, while Zimbabwe Copper Industries was liquidated.
The investor for Zimglass has been secured while potential partners for Irazim Textiles and Travan Blankets have been identified.
The IDCZ also identified a partner who injected capital into Amtec Motors thus reducing the IDCZ’s shareholding from 55 percent to 27,5 percent. It has also received bids for Chemplex Holdings.
Deven’s core competence is trucks and bus body building done on rolling chassis or from knocked down kits. It can build trailers, tankers and specialised vehicle bodies such as compactors, dumpers, tippers, refuse trucks and repairs.
WMI is one of the leading vehicle assemblers in Zimbabwe. It used to assemble nearly 20 000 vehicles per year before production plunged. Some of the brands which WMI assembled include Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Toyota.
A recent report by the Government on the state of industry during the lockdown period, revealed that the motor industry was among hardest hit sectors.
It said WMI did not record any production since March this year.