Govt puts Chemplex up for sale

Satellite image of ZimPhos' Msasa plant in Harare. Chemplex owns 100% of ZimPhos

THE government’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDCZ) has invited bids for Chemplex Corporation, the country’s largest chemical and fertilizer maker, in line with plans announced earlier this year.

The IDC has engaged Ernst & Young to advise on the dilution of its interest in Chemplex, which has fertilizer, mining and industrial chemicals operations. Bidders have up to September 20, 2018, to show their interest.

Chemplex wholly owns ZimPhos, the only producer of phosphatic fertilizer raw materials in the country. ZimPhos, in turn, owns phosphate rock and magnetite miner Dorowa Minerals.

Chemplex also owns 50% of the Zimbabwe Fertilizer Company (ZFC) and 36% of Sable Chemical Industries, which manufactures and imports ammonia for production of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

“The Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe has mandated Ernst & Young Advisory Services (EY) to facilitate the recapitalisation of Chemplex Corporation in order to capacitate the fertilizer value chain,” EY announced in a call for interest flighted on Thursday.

“This is to be achieved through the dilution of IDCZ’s 100% shareholding in Chemplex and, where appropriate, the dilution and/or disposal of its non-fertilizer businesses by identifying a potential strategic equity partner.”

Chemplex’s non-core investments include a 50% shareholding in Allied Insurance and 64% interest in Chemplex Animal and Public Health.

Key requirements for bidders for the fertilizer assets include existing interests in the industry as well as clear strategic intent in terms of technology transfer.

In April, former Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa named Chemplex as one of several firms, including TelOne, NetOne and Telecel, as well as 17 subsidiaries of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) units, targeted for partial privatisation.

In February, Russian fertilizer mogul Dmitry Mazepin visited Zimbabwe, with officials saying the billionaire was interested in the country’s undercapitalised fertilizer industry.

 

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