SOUTH AFRICAN businessman Cyril Ramaphosaâ€™s Shanduka Group has joined the bandwagon of investors jockeying for business interests in Zimbabwe, businessdigest has established.
Ramaphosaâ€™s group is said to have held talks with Econet Wireless to acquire the companyâ€™s shareholding in Mutare Bottling Company, an investment the mobile group considers a non-core asset.
The Shanduka group, which already has interests in bottling and beverage sectors in the region, is said to have conducted a due diligence examination of Mutare Bottling and was keen on snapping up the business.
But Delta Corporation has been linked to the bottling asset in the past few weeks after Shanduka appeared on the scene.
While Delta is keen on having Mutare bottling under its portfolio, analysts say the beverage group has a bargaining chip in the form of its non-core Ariston investment, a cast away asset Econet is seemingly interested in.
Analysts feel the Shanduka bid could suffer after Delta and Econet began talks.
Other sources said Delta was no longer interested in a share swap deal proposed by Econet Wireless opting for cash deal than a scrip one.
But Econet is less likely to pay cash for Ariston. Econet acquired Mutare bottling last year.
The Shanduka Group is a leading black-owned and managed Investment Company established in November 2000.
Their investment portfolio comprises Resources, Financial Services, Property, Energy, Beverages and Industrial & General.
Millennium Consolidated Investments (MCI) is the exclusive Ramaphosa investment vehicle, which was incorporated in March 2001. He is the chairman of MCI as well as the single largest shareholder in the company.
Ramaphosa is a member of the advisory boards of the Sanlam Development Fund and the AIG Africa Infrastructure Fund, the Deputy Chairman of Rebserve Holdings Limited, Chairman of Johnnic Holdings Limited and a board member of SAB plc, First Rand Limited and SASRIA.
BY CHRIS MURONZI