BY TAURAI MANGUDHLA
AGILITEE Africa, a South African electric vehicles (EVs) manufacturer, has acquired 90% shareholding in the Zimbabwean EVs dealership, Zimtorque in a cash-and-share swap deal, businessdigest can report.
The parties did not disclose the value of the transaction, but it is seen as one of the biggest deals in the industry recently as it will see Agilitee moving into Zimbabwe to set up an assembly plant.
An Agilitee executive said about 700 jobs would be created in Zimbabwe.
The transaction would result in a name change with Zimtorque being renamed Agilitee Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd.
The South African firm would also appoint a new team to run the local operation, businessdigest was told.
The deal could potentially create one of Zimbabwe’s top companies given the positive outlook of the EVs industry on the global market.
Zimtorque boss Tanaka Kutama will be moving up to join Agilitee’s parent company, Lamba Automotive, as chief operating officer.
Agilitee chief executive officer, Mandla Lamba had told businessdigest this week that Zimbabwe had also become a major attraction following an influx of lithium battery miners recently, where over US$300 million has been earmarked for sinking shafts to extract the lucrative mineral and ship it abroad.
He said the decision to set up the plant in Zimbabwe came following a surge in demand since the firm brought a demonstration unit to Harare late last year.
The process towards setting up a plant would kick off this July, Lamba said this week, noting that Zimbabwe was an important part of the firm’s strategy.
“Through Agilitee Zimbabwe, Agilitee will open two dealerships in Zimbabwe in Bulawayo and Harare in July followed by an assembly plant in March 2022 and a manufacturing plant,” Lamba said.
Agilitee today officially launches a number of products in Johannesburg.
The mega event would be attended by at least seven South African cabinet ministers and other top government officials, business moguls as well as car and environment enthusiasts.
Agilitee vice-chairman and former Zimbabwe Energy minister Fortune Chasi and Kutama would be part of the Agilitee team at the event which would also be attended by regional investors.
Chasi recently said adoption of electric cars would go a long way in reducing Zimbabwe’s fuel import bill and greenhouse emissions that damage the environment.
Giving his view about the Zimbabwean market this week, Lamba had said: “Zimbabwe has more markets than South Africa in terms of pushing the whole agenda because we had a better reception from the government than we had in South Africa. We will be bringing EV components into Zimbabwe to assemble them. That helps also in terms of job creation and boosting the economy. Remember we do have investors from Australia who are mining lithium in Zimbabwe and companies from China doing the same. So that is how we see the potential in Zimbabwe going forward”.