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Fresca liquidated

Eric Chiriga

HORTICULTURAL concern TZI Industries (TZI) has finally put its subsidiary Fresca Holdings Ltd into voluntary liquidation due to severe viability problems.

rdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>TZI is expected to realise more than 500 000 euros from liquidation proceeds after all claims have been met.

“Due to the severity of the viability challenges faced, Fresca’s board decided to place the company into voluntary liquidation,” said TZI chief executive Edwin Moyo.

He said the move would avoid further debt accruals and preserve value for shareholders, banks and other creditors. Fresca was reported as a discontinued operation in the audited financial statements for the year ended September 2003 but remained TZI’s 50% asset after the bidder failed to meet the payment deadline and obligations.

The company has been operating at less than 50% of factory capacity due to shortage of raw materials.

“Apart from these problems, the cost of production in euro terms tripled in the past year,” Moyo said.

“High interest rates combined with an exchange rate that is not reflecting inflation differentials between Zimbabwe and its trading partners have contributed to the losses.”

TZI once wanted to dispose of its 50% stake in Fresca as part of a restructuring programme.

The transaction was put on hold by the new TZI board led by Moyo.

Hillary Duckworth led the old TZI board.

Fresca is a diversified company involved in farming and processing of vegetables, with an established market in both the United States and Europe.

TZI has operating divisions under the health and insurance sector in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe under Strategis Africa.

TZI’s minority shareholding in Strategis Holdings Zimbabwe was sold to a management-led consortium. The horticultural group unbundled Art Corporation, which is now a separate listed entity.

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