IN what could be described as a marriage of convenience, property firms Mashonaland Holdings and Dawn Properties Ltd are understood to be seeking ways of joining hands before the end of the y
The move comes as Zimbabwe’s property sector is facing a downturn and individuals are exercising caution when purchasing either stands or finished properties.
As a matter of policy the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) does not discuss intended partnerships other than confirm that they have seen the firm’s cautionary statements published in the press.
This week Dawn and Masholds both issued cautionaries. Insiders say while this could be a sensible tie-up, one party may end up swallowing the other.
Dawn, which registered an operating turnover of more than $1,4 billion last week said it had taken a view to diversify its portfolio and was considering a “number of options”.
It revalued its properties up from $22,95 billion to $61,5 billion for the period ending March 31.
Masholds is currently led by Justin Dowa as chief executive officer, while Dawn is being driven by Mike Manyika.
When it entered the property sector Masholds snapped up Intermarket Life Towers for a cool $11,5 billion as the company transformed itself into a fully-fledged property investment firm. Analysts said this was a give-away at that time.
Intermarket Life Towers was owned by Property Development Associates (Pvt) Ltd.
Property Developments Associates was then 79,29% owned by Intermarket Holdings Ltd, 4,855% by Anglo American Associated Companies Pension Fund (AAACPF), 4,855% by Anglo American Corporation Zimbabwe Pension Fund (AAAZPF) and 11% by Meikles Consolidated Holdings Ltd.
Formed in September 2003 Dawn, on the other hand, has in its portfolio all the ZimSun Leisure group hotels.
ZimSun now owns 19,69% of the company enabling it to have an independent existence.
Masholds’ changeover into a fully-fledged property investment firm listed on the ZSE resulted in about $32 billion being splashed out acquiring various buildings and stands in upmarket areas countrywide.
Masholds was forced to fork out $31,8 billion for 14 upmarket properties and stands spread countrywide by Intermarket.
Dawn, on the other hand, owns more than 10 plush hotels including Caribbea Bay Hotel, Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel, Elephant Hills Intercontinental Hotel, Great Zimbabwe Hotel, Hwange Safari Lodge, Lake View Inn, Kariba, and Troutbeck Inn & Estate.
Prominent businessman Godfrey Gomwe who also sits on various influential boards including that of mining giant Anglo American Corporation Zimbabwe Ltd chaired Masholds when the lucrative deal was sealed.
Fugitive banker Nicholas Vingirai who represented Intermarket partnered him.
Analysts pointed out that since the property industry was down at the moment it could be a good move.
Others, however, que-stioned whether this would not set up another monopoly within the property sector.
Officials from Dawn and Masholds said they could not say anything other than abide by the cautionary statements published in the press.