Local investors eyeing stake in Zimbabwe Glass Holdings

ZIMBABWE – Two local Zimbabwe companies are angling for a shareholding in Zimbabwe Glass Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of the state enterprise, Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Glass Industries who are the sole manufacturers of glass packaging in Zimbabwe, was closed in September 2010 for refurbishments but the company failed to secure funding, leading to its placement under judicial management in 2014.

About US$10 million is required to revive the plant, whose bulk of equipment is now beyond repair.

The only most valuable asset owned by Zimglass is Industrial Sands, a company which supplies the major raw materials (sands) for making glass.

The closure of Zimglass has resulted in the country importing all its glass requirements after several efforts to bring in new investors failed to materialise.

In 10 months to October last year, Zimbabwe imported various glass products worth nearly US$12 million, according to data from the Zimbabwe National Statistical Office.

Some of the companies, which expressed interests in buying the Gweru-based glass making plant include South African Nampak, Kioo Ltd of Tanzania and Mauritius-based Sahara.

Judicial manager Mr Winseley Militala, told The Herald that some potential investors have expressed interest in Zimglass, while admitting the process of reviving the company had been “very slow.”

“We are talking to a few interested partners who have shown interests and I will be in a position to provide a better picture very soon,” said Mr Militala.

He declined to reveal the identity of the investors although one of the companies which has shown interest is Alternative Investment Africa.

“It does not matter who is coming in but what we will insist on is an irrevocable letter of undertaking to see the seriousness of whoever wants to partner with us,” said Mr Militala.

Zimglass used to produce about 240 tonnes of glass material per months for making bottles of beer, soft drinks, food, pharmaceuticals and kitchenware.

It was established in 1963 as a subsidiary of Consol Glass and became an IDC subsidiary in 1984.

Its major customers included Delta Beverages, African Distillers, Mutare Bottling Company, Straitia Investments, Olivine Industries, Datlabs and E. Snell and Company.

In 2015, Mr Militala recommended the liquidation of the company, arguing that it had failed to secure investors willing to turnaround its fortunes.

Zimglass’ liabilities stood at US$30.2 million as at June 2015, against assets of about US$2.2 million.

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