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ZSR receives bids for loss-making branch

Shakeman Mugari

ZIMBABWE Sugar Refinery (ZSR) managing director Pattison Sithole says his company has received several bids for the disposal of its Zambian loss-making entity, Kabwe Industrial Fabrics Ltd.
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In an interview, Sithole said the company had begun talks with interested parties.

He said negotiations with the Zambian bidders who are interested in the company were at an advanced stage and he hoped to seal a deal soon.


The managing director could however, not be drawn into disclosing the target price for the subsidiary nor the number of bidders, which had expressed an interest in the plastic package making division.


He said: “We have no comment to make on the price and the number of bids. However, all we can say is that these are prominent businessmen in Zambia who are well versed with the environment and trading conditions in that country.”


He said no Zimbabwean company had shown interest in buying the division.

Kabwe Industrial Fabrics has been a blight on the group’s earnings owing to the “unstable and difficult” Zambian market.


The company said it was now finalising the acquisition of Advance Wholesalers. Sithole said he was confident that once the deal was concluded Advance Wholesale would contribute significantly to the group’s earnings.


On the huge losses incurred in the sugar division so far, the managing director said the division could return to viability if government agreed to a new price regime that was sustainable.


For the period ending March 31, domestic sugar business posted a loss before tax of $826,4 million compared with a loss of $124 million sustained during the corresponding period last year.


Earnings per share increased to 1 286 cents up from 138 cents, representing a jump of 832%.


The results are at the top end of market expectations.

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