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Delma Lupepe says Merlin won't be liquidated

by Staff reporter
29 Jun 2017 at 06:36hrs | Views
BUSINESSMAN, Mr Delma Lupepe, says his defunct textile firm Merlin Limited will not be liquidated ahead of tomorrow's liquidation deadline.

The Bulawayo-based company was established in the 1950s and at its peak used to employ about 1 000 workers before it was placed under provisional liquidation in 2011.

Mr Lupepe, a prominent businessman, together with Merlin's judicial manager, Mr Cecil Madondo, yesterday hinted that the company would not face liquidation tomorrow.

"The company will not be liquidated," said Mr Lupepe without elaborating.

Mr Madondo is on record saying Merlin would be liquidated if the firm did not find new investors to raise working capital and resume operations by June 30, 2017.

He, however, told this paper yesterday that: "It (Merlin) will never be liquidated."

Merlin is one of Zimbabwe's oldest textile companies and was placed under provisional judicial management in 2011 and has accrued liabilities amounting to $6.3 million up from $4.3 million in 2013.

Of late, the company has been engaging some unnamed investors for working capital. The textile company requires about $30 million fresh capital in the long-term to bring it back to life.

Once operations resume at Merlin, the company intends among others to manufacture women's sanitary wear and diapers.

In 2014, Mr Lupepe told this paper that according to the shareholders' resuscitation plan at the time, the first phase under Merlin's revival would involve the resumption of operations with about 100 workers, whose figures would be improved gradually.

Under the first phase, it was also the shareholders' plan to repair plant equipment while the second phase of the company's resuscitation initiative would involve installation of state-of-the-art equipment comprising weaving and spinning technology.

If the required working capital is secured, the textile giant has the capacity to produce 250 tonnes of the product per month.

The Bulawayo-based company has not been spared from the operational constraints local firms were facing largely due to the prevailing harsh operating environment that has seen the city experiencing massive de-industrialisation over the years.

Recently, Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Mrs Chiratidzo Mabuwa told Parliament that Bulawayo, once the country's industrial hub has since 2013 recorded remarkable improvement in industrial revival, riding on interventions by the Government and private sector input.

City firms such as Datlabs, United Refineries Limited, those in the milling industry as well as the bakery, service and retail sector have shown signs of rejuvenation with a majority of them operating above 70 percent capacity utilisation.

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Source - chronicle