Delta Corporation Limited may offload Megapak to South Africa’s Nampak, its joint venture partner in the Ruwa-based packaging unit, if it agrees to a deal.
The country’s largest beverage maker controls 51% of Megapak with Nampak holding the remaining equity interest.
In an exclusive interview Delta company secretary Alex Makamure said Nampak “may want to increase their stake” in Megapak, but cautioned this was not a definitive position.
“Our partners may want to increase their stake,” Makamure said. “The timing of the disposal depends on the environment. It’s just a strategic position; we don’t have a deal yet.”
Makamure would however not say whether Delta had received offers from other bidders.
In terms of Zimbabwe’s indigenisation law, Nampak cannot bulk up any further as it is already at the ceiling of its shareholding, unless sector-specific equity thresholds currently being worked out by Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board provide a new legal leeway.
The sector-specific thresholds will be presented to the Ministry of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment this month.
In a separate interview, CEO Joe Mutizwa said the beverage maker had taken a strategic position to sell all non-core investments as they were no longer necessary under the present multiple-currency dispensation.
“We don’t necessarily have to be involved in a supplier, Mutizwa said. “During the tough times, we had to integrate backwards and forwards into retail.”
The sale of Megapak will be Delta’s fourth non-core disposal since February last year after Ariston Holdings, Mabruk and Headend, which had gone back to Zimplats. Other scheduled sell-offs include Food & Industrial and Mandel.
Early this year, Delta sank $1,3 million in Megapak for the acquisition of new moulds for the manufacturing of half-litre pet bottles and for general plant upgrade.
The company has also balanced the disposals with parallel acquisitions.
Last year it added Schweppes to the group and also has a strategic position to bulk up in African Distillers, a local maker of wines and spirits.
Mutizwa said Delta would not pursue its interests in Mutare Bottlers after its current owners shot down its offer.
Mutare is the only major town in Zimbabwe where Delta doesn’t hold a sparkling beverages bottling franchise.
Delta says it is aggressively recapitalising its business with speed to close a glaring boost beverage capacity, regain lost market share and cordon its market off against encroaching competitors, particularly PepsiCo, which has already established its footprint in Zambia.
Heineken and other international brewers have also contracted distribution agencies in the country.