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Govt mulls sale of stake in Olivine

Business Editor
GOVERNMENT is considering selling part of its stake in Olivine Industries to an external investor to raise foreign currency towards recapitalising operations.

This was said by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof Mthuli Ncube, yesterday during his tour of Surface Wilmer plant, the largest cooking oil manufacturer in Southern Africa.

Situated in Chitungwiza, the company is the largest producer of edible oils in the country and has partnered with the Government in ownership of Olivine Industries.

“Government is considering selling part of its stake in Olivine Industries to an external investor to raise foreign currency towards recapitalising operations,” said the Ministry of Finance in an update.

“The tour of the cooking oil manufacturing giant Surface Wilmar by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, today (yesterday) created a platform to assess the challenges affecting the sector.”

Low capacity utilisation, high costs, and limited foreign exchange emerged as key constraints to the giant manufacturer. With Surface Wilmar being the main investor in Olivine where the Government holds a 35 percent stake, Minister Ncube made a passionate plea to restore the glory days of the entity.

“We are just looking at the possibilities of selling the shares to maximise production,” he said.

The company stands to benefit if the proposal to dilute shareholding by the State becomes a success, noted its acting chief executive officer, Mr Sylvester Mangani.

“It is now about those that can be of greater interests to the needs of the firm,” he said.

The revival of the fast moving consumer goods company is also anticipated to reduce the import bill for cooking oil and some groceries.

 

Source : The Herald

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