LIFESTYLE Holdings’ debt of over $500 000 to Rufaro Marketing is being reduced at a slow pace as a result of the economic challenges facing the country, an executive from the former liquor retailer has said.
Rufaro Marketing changed its core business to real estate to raise money to clear its debts as its liquor selling business was loss-making.
In 2012 the company entered a deal with Lifestyle Holdings Limited to lease out 14 outlets for a period of 12 years.
In an interview with NewsDay, Rufaro Marketing finance director Daniel Mutiwadirwa said the company was facing challenges in rental collections as most businesses had registered poor performance as a result of subdued local demand.
He added that lack of funding for working capital and capital expenditure, retrenchments and company closures were compounding the situation.
“The Lifestyle Holdings Limited debt of over half a million dollars is being reduced though at a slow pace.We have weekly meetings with Lifestyle Holdings Limited management to review the progress on debt reduction. With the progress being made, we have no intention to terminate the lease agreement,” Mutiwadirwa said.
Lifestyle Holdings, formerly TN Holdings Limited, was modelled around TN Bank Limited which has since been disposed to Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.
The group ventured into a number of business activities such as fastfood and supermarkets, saying the two were delivery channels for banking services.
When the bank was sold to Econet, the group had to restructure its operations.
The group has been rocked by a spate of worker and retrenchment protests.
TN Harlequin Luxaire, formerly known as Spring Masters Corporation Limited, used to be the largest furniture manufacturer and retailer in Zimbabwe and remains the group’s largest business.
Last year, TN Harlequin Luxaire said it would shut down most of its factories and substantially reduce its workforce in response to the massive decline in demand for its products.
However, Lifestyle Holdings founder Tawanda Nyambirai has remained adamant that the group would not collapse.
At the group’s Strategy Seminar for 2013, Lifestyle identified its most important investment as TN Livestock Trust (Private) Limited.