TEXTILE company, Merlin, which resumed operations this year, says in the next few months it will flood the local market with its products and also open up export markets.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
“Our primary target is to bring back Merlin on the map, as one of the biggest textile giants in Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community region. The next few months will see the company flooding the local market with its products and at the same time making inroads to open up export markets,” the company’s judicial manager, Cecil Madondo of Tudor House, told NewsDay in emailed responses.
“Production will start with samples, in order to get orders from the market, hence production in the first months will be customer oriented. The company will resume production at a minimum level, in order to build its market awareness and secure orders,” he said.
Madondo said they are targeting to start with 100 employees for the first three months and increase to 350, in response to the anticipated increase in production and demand.
In the short-term, the company needs $2,1m, in the medium term $4,5m and in the long term, $23,4m. In total, it needs $30m.
“The short-term goal is to resume operations which have a lot of benefits to the company, including attracting more investors. The medium term plan should see additional capital investment to raise productivity though carrying out major repairs and maintenance,” he said. Madondo said the long-term objective is to replace the current plant and machinery with state-of-the-art machinery which will see a huge reduction in costs, improvements in quality and overall efficiency.
“We have also put in place a proposal for the company to establish its own ginning, plant to embrace a full production cycle starting with the cotton farmers. In addition, we will work with the investors to introduce new products such as disposal diapers and sanitary wear to keep up with market chances and current trends,” he said.
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Madondo said with the coming on board of a strategic partner “we are confident that the company will be removed from judicial management within the next 12 months, as proposed at our last meeting of creditors and members”.
“It is proposed that once the company has made significant progress in its revival and starts operating at a sustainable basis, creditors and members will be invited to a scheme of arrangement involving a credible investor, who can take the company forward after the removal from judicial management,” he said.
Madondo said the current strategic partner has shown interest to invest in the business on a long term basis because of “their huge interest in the textile business of Merlin”
He said they remain optimistic that regardless of the challenges, the company should be able to come out of its current state and once more become a successful concern.