By Alois Vinga
FALLEN asbestos producing giant, Shabanie Mashava Mines Holdings (SMM Holdings) has entered into an agreement to shed off its 43.22 % stake in rubber and chemicals producer, General Beltings Holdings Limited (GB).
SMM, formerly owned by South Africa based Zimbabwe businessman Mutumwa Mawere, has since reported plans to dispose of land and properties it owns to help pay off debts and recapitalise to resume operations.
The company was mothballed nearly 15 years ago and placed under the management of an administrator due to massively choking debts mainly owed to government.
Restarting operations has remained a dream due to slow and complicated procedures, legal and otherwise, that have had to be followed.
As part of the restructuring process under the Reconstruction of State Indebted Insolvent Companies, the government became a major shareholder in the firm following a debt to equity conversion, taking control from Mawere.
In a cautionary statement issued to shareholders, GB company secretary, Patrick Munyanyi revealed that the suitor is a third party representing a consortium of local businesspeople.
“Shareholders and the investing public are hereby advised that the Company has received notice that its major shareholder SMM Holdings (Private) Limited have entered negotiations for a sale and Purchase Agreement with a third party for the entire 43.22 % shareholding in the company,” he said.
He said the envisaged transaction may have a material effect on the price of company shares and warned shareholders and the investing public to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the company.
GB’s financial statement for the period ended December 31 2019 shows that volumes declined by 36 % at 636 tonnes when compared with the prior year same period due to reduced activity in the first quarter of 2019 as the business remodelled in the wake of multiple statutory promulgations.
On an inflation adjusted basis turnover at $49 million was a 40% increase compared to prior year’s same period $35 million due to improved internal efficiencies, a favourable product mix at the Chemicals Division and benefits from technical partnerships.
Continued monitoring of pricing models in relation to cost volatility enabled the company to gain more ground in the mining sector while at the same time consolidated its market position in the Chemicals division.