ZIMBABWE – The industrial development corporation’s stake in the cooking oil processor Surface Investments in Chitugwiza has been increased by 16% by a Mauritian investor who is valued at $40 billion.

The spokesman for the IDC Mr. Derek Sibanda said that the deal was closed in July this year and that it was meant to finance the payment of the corporation’s debts, reports The Herald.

Although not at liberty to disclose the investor, Mr. Sibanda said that they injected $18 million into shareholding and a further $ 6 million into the working capital, increasing the Surface Oil’s production capacity threefold.

Formerly the IDC held 26 % of the Chitugwiza oil company while Midex Group of India owned 76% before they disposed off the 16%.

According to The Herald, through CBZ, the IDC raised an amount of $13.5 million through the means of a Diaspora bond. This money was intended for buying new plants in Surface Investments and was meant to be repaid once the renovation was over.

The injected working capital will be able to increase production from 150 tonnes to 450 tonnes a day.

IDC exports crude oil to Malawi, cotton linters and hulls to South Africa and Europe.

IDC said that another of its cooking oil producers, Olivine Goods is receiving raw materials for production on credit from the investor.

Prior to the investment of the Mauritius firm, the Surface Investments division was owned jointly by IDC and Midex Group of India.

The company started operations in 2006 and has extensive infrastructure including a state of the art refinery, a multi-oil-seed processing plant, a bottling plant and an automatic packaging plant for the oils produced.

The company enjoys the largest market share in Zimbabwe with some of its brands being Cota Gold, Golden Glow and Pure Drop.

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