Costain Zimbabwe under new management

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Costain Zimbabwe (Private) Limited is in the process of changing its name to CZL Incorporated following a successful takeover of the company by a management consortium led by group executive chairman Tendai Phineas Chimuriwo a fortnight ago.

The Chimuriwo -led management consortium increased its stake in the company from 15% to 100% for an as yet undisclosed amount.

The deal has been hailed as a major step in the indigenisation and empowerment programme in the country.

The Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment has already approved the deal.

Prior to the deal, the construction group was owned by the London Stock Exchange-listed company Costain plc.

“I wish to confirm that a management consortium that I lead has successfully concluded a transaction for the 100% takeover of the company in Zimbabwe,” Chimuriwo said in a statement.

“As Zimbabweans who have run this business without any expatriates for the last sixteen years, local ownership was now overdue. We are very happy that the former shareholders in London have been proactive and supported our bid to purchase the business outright.”

The consortium is comprised of Chimuriwo, chief operating officer, Dave Guy Martens, group finance director, Nozipho Pearl Guzha and technical services director, Kennedy John Sakuhuni.

Chimuriwo said a staff share ownership trust was being worked out to ensure that all members of staff would benefit from the local ownership of the business.

In a statement, Costain plc group chief executive Andrew Wiley said: “Costain confirms that it has no future involvement in this business.

“The interests have been purchased by a consortium headed by group executive chairman, T P Chimuriwo for a commercial consideration. The consortium will trade under the name CZL Incorporated (Private) Limited.

“The Costain Group, would like to wish Chimuriwo and his colleagues the very best in their new venture.”

The London-listed company sent its finance director, Norman Critchlow and group property director Martin Burdes to sign the deal with the management consortium two weeks ago.

Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere hailed the transaction as a positive development.

“It’s a further cap in our programme for indigenisation and economic empowerment. This transaction demonstrates that the programme is not a grabbing exercise as our detractors have been saying,” said Kasukuwere.

While it has sold its construction and engineering business in the country, Costain Africa (Private) Limited remains invested in Zimbabwe in the property sector, where it owns various buildings and prime property sites in major cities.

The company recently won the tender to build a new hotel for Nssa in Beitbridge for $20 million and is currently working on five state university projects in Zimbabwe.

Its current order book stands at more than $50 million for 2011.