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Econet to dispose stake in Mutare Bottling Company


Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited (EWZL) plans to dispose its stake in Mutare Bottling Company, one of the telecommunications company’s non-core assets.

Company chairman Tawanda Nyambirai told an annual general meeting that it had acquired non-core assets in the past to add value to the company.

“The market will be advised, this is one of the business we will be looking forward to let go. If we get the right price at the right time,” he said.

Mutare Bottling Company is owned 69% by EWZL through Pentamed Investments Private Limited, including a 6% shareholding in the form of convertible instruments.

EWZL acquired the stake in Mutare Bottling Company in 2007 as part of the group’s diversification programme.

However, Econet said it would continue to hold on to its 49% in Africa Reinassance Corporation Limited (Afre).

It holds 30% through security for a loan that it extended to Afre and 19% in ordinary shares.

Nyambirai said Econet considered Afre as a core asset as it is serving 1,2 million subscribers under the Ecolife programme.

“If there is a failure to pay any of the subscriber’s people will come and queue at Econet. We need involvement in what is happening at Afre,” Nyambirai said.

In October last year Econet, Trust Co and Afre subsidiary, First Mutual Life engaged in a partnership to offer subscribers with an insurance cover Ecolife.

Under the deal Econet was offering the platform, Trust Co was the technology partner while First Mutual Life was offering the premium cover.

Nyambirai said Econet cancelled the contract with Trust Co in June after Trust Co threatened to cancel the contract between them.

EWZL recently disposed off 11% stake in Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) early this month to National Social Security Authority saying that RTG was no longer fitting in investments guidelines.

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