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Govt identifies investors for CSC

by Staff reporter
07 May 2018 at 07:00hrs | Views
Government has identified several investors willing to fund the resuscitation of the Cold Storage Company amid reports that at least $100 million was required to bring the parastatal back on its feet.

The development comes in the wake of reports that the planned financial injection by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) into CSC suffered a stillbirth, forcing Government to turn its focus elsewhere.

Agriculture, Lands and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Davis Marapira said CSC required a capital injection of up to $100 million to start firing from all cylinders.

Deputy Minister Marapira said Government was in talks with several investors to pour money into the company.

"We have so far identified about five local and foreign investors who are interested in pouring money to revive CSC and at the moment talks are ongoing and we are optimistic that something will be worked out, paving the way for the chosen investor to come on board.

"The company (CSC) requires between $60 and $100 million to start operating normally and we are quite confident that a deal will be struck to breathe life into the company in the near future," he said.

Deputy Minister Marapira said Government had cast its net wider to identify an investor with the financial muscle that would return CSC to its best.

"The fact that we are in talks with several investors about reviving CSC means that the deal with NSSA is no longer on the table, but I don't want to say much about that, save to point out that Government wants an investor to revive CSC," he said.

The deputy minister said it was still premature to reveal the identity of some of the shortlisted investors prepared to pour in money to revive CSC.

Lowveld sugar producer Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe is touted as one of the companies considering an equity stake in CSC, in a development that will spark life into the struggling parastatal.

Deputy Minister Marapira said Government was not keen on a piecemeal revival of CSC, but wanted all CSC depots countrywide to be up and running at full capacity again.

"We are not only looking for investors for the revival of CSC in Masvingo, but we want to revive all the depots, some of which are currently mothballed. We want the company to return to its glorious old days," said Deputy Minister Marapira.

At its peak, CSC, used to employ thousands of employees, with the company being among the country's top foreign currency earners through beef shipments to the European Union.

CSC's Masvingo depot used to be the province's biggest employer, with 400 beasts being slaughtered daily.

Source - the herald