M&R pulls out of Zim

MURRAY & Roberts is set to divest from Zimbabwe after resolving to sell its 46 percent equity in the construction and engineering firm.


The South African-owned company is already talking to a local consortium which has shown interest in buying the stake, sources have said. The price of the shareholding, based on the market value, will be roughly US$11,5 million at the last stock price of US11,5c yesterday.

Murray & Roberts has been listed as a public company on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange since 1974. The group has two operating segments — contracting and manufacturing. The contracting division consists of Murray & Roberts Construction Zimbabwe and Proplastics. The manufacturing division produces and distributes a wide range of plastic piping systems for different market niches, locally and in the region. The group’s contracting operations form a portfolio of complementary competencies allowing it to undertake turnkey contracting activities.

Murray & Roberts also optimises the synergies and relationships between its portfolio of investments and those of its major shareholder, Murray & Roberts Holdings Limited of South Africa.

“The specifics of the deal are being negotiated, but at least there is mutual understanding between the negotiating parties,” said one source. “However, reasons for their decision to pull out are yet to be disclosed.” Both M&R chairman Mr Paddy Zhanda and acting chief executive Mr Stewart Mangoma professed ignorance on the development. “If there is something of that sort going on, (then) it could be in line with their business review strategy,” said Mr Zhanda in an interview yesterday. “But as of now, I am not aware of that development.” –The Herald

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