HomeBusiness DigestAnglo disposes of Boart Longyear

Anglo disposes of Boart Longyear

Roadwin Chirara

ANGLO American Corporation Zimbabwe (Amzim) has relinquished its stake in Boart Longyear (Zimbabwe) following the disposal of the Boart Longyear group by Anglo American plc last month.

Anglo American plc sold its Boart Longyear stake to Advent International plc for US$545 million. The disposal fits into Amzim’s plan to pull out of non-core businesses.

This comes barely two months after Amzim disposed of its 100% shareholding in Zimbabwe Alloys for $90 billion to a local consortium, Benscore Investments, led by banker Farai Rwodzi of Interfin.

Amzim spokesman Ezra Kanganga confirmed the company had disposed of its holding in the company. “Amzim had a small interest in Boart Longyear Zimbabwe which formed part of the global disposal,” Kanganga said.

Amzim, originally a broad-based investment company with interests spanning mining to property, started streamlining its local interests a few years back.

The company’s interest is now focused on developing and funding the US$90 billion Unki Platinum mining project in Shurugwi.

The project, which is in its early stages, will be developed in three phases.

“Amzim has stated publicly that the proceeds which are being realised from the asset disposals are being retained in Zimbabwe to fund future industrial and mining projects including, but not limited to, Unki Platinum Mine,” Kanganga said.

Amzim is also expected to keep a tight grip on its sugar producer, Hippo Valley Estates, despite uncertainty over its vast tracts of land compulsorily acquired by government.

“Amzim is a major shareholder in Hippo Valley Estates in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld, itself a natural resources business of international scale,” said Kanganga.

Amzim says it wants to concentrate on “fewer, larger, long life, low cost operations”. Kanganga said the company had taken the decision to align its operations to those of the holding company.

“The restructuring programme which Anglo American Zimbabwe has implemented over the past seven years is aimed at aligning the group’s investment portfolio with that of its parent company in pursuit of being a natural resources business of international scale,” Kanganga said.

Amzim’s asset disposal has seen the conglomerate pull out of Amzim Gold and Iron Duke Pyrites after selling the portfolio to GAT Investments in 2003.

The company sold half its stake (21%) in National Foods to Takepart Investments led by Ray Kaukonde.

Amzim gradually whittled down its investments in brick moulding concern, Willdale, and in Bindura Nickel Corporation before finally disposing of its entire interest in the two listed concerns.

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