ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe’s Brainman Investments has acquired Zimbabwe Glass Holdings (Zimglass) for US$22 million in a development likely to pave way for the revival of the country’s sole glass manufacturer.
Zimglass was owned by state enterprise, Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe, which is in the processing of restructuring some of its subsidiaries and associate firms.
The restructuring is not only confined to total disposal of subsidiaries and associate companies, but also entails liquidation, privatisation and partial privatisation.
Zimglass was under final liquidation and Mr Winseley Militala the liquidator revealed to The Herald that, “The deal is sealed and the money has been paid and we are now working on paying of all creditors.”
Zimglass ceased operations in 2010 and has been failing to secure funding, leading to its placement under judicial management in 2014. At that time, its credit had amounted to US$34 million against assets of about US$2.2 million.
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 for making glass.
The closure of Zimglass has resulted in the country importing all its glass requirements from China and South Africa after several efforts to bring in new investors failed to materialise.
In the 10 months to October 2019, 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 interest in buying the Gweru-based glass making plant include Nampak, Kioo Ltd of Tanzania and Mauritius-based Sahara.
Alternative Investment Africa and Global Emerging Markets — a major shareholder in RioZim, also once expressed interest in it.
Zimglass was established in 1963 as a subsidiary of Consol Glass and became an IDC subsidiary in 1984.
The company used to produce about 240 tonnes of glass material per month for making bottles of beer, soft drinks, food, pharmaceuticals and kitchenware and employed 500 workers.
Its major customers included Delta Beverages, African Distillers, Mutare Bottling Company, Straitia Investments, Olivine Industries, Datlabs and E. Snell and Company.