TANZANIAN investor Bakhresa Group has so far invested $20 million in Blue Ribbon Industries (BRI) and will next week assume the reins at the milling company.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
BRI has been under judicial management since 2012.
BRI judicial manager Reggie Saruchera said Bakhresa will bring in $40 million into BRI and the injection would see maize meal milling capacity increasing to 100% while flour will get to 80%. The output for maize meal for BRI is at least 70% while that of flour is between 10% to 15%.
“Bakhresa has injected $20 million so far in the company and the $40 million will be invested over a period of time. They are starting [running the company] next week and working on the retooling of the company,” he said.
Saruchera said the investor had paid some of the company’s creditors.
The investors will own the company 100% and will give 10% to its 150 staff and further sell to locals until the 51%:49% threshold is met in compliance with the country’s empowerment legislation.
The Indigenisation Act stipulates that at least 51% of all foreign-owned companies operating in Zimbabwe should be in the hands of locals.
BRI has been operating with $3 million that it received through a supply arrangement and additional funding would help the business and boost the agriculture sector.
Bakhresa has operations in Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda and Seychelles.
BRI closed down in 2012 due to funding constraints and was placed under judicial management to revive its operations.
Bakhresa was selected in 2013 when the company registered for bidders for BRI and in that same year it applied for the indigenisation approval.
The indigenisation processes were approved in May 2015 and re-negotiations with secured creditors began in July 2015.
BRI is known for its Chibataura and Ngwerewere mealie-meal brands and Blue Ribbon flour.