BDO Zimbabwe, which was appointed as the corporate rescuer for the Cold Storage Company after a much-touted US$130 million investment into the ailing parastatal flopped, is to hold its first creditors’ meeting in Bulawayo tomorrow.
The meeting will be held before the Master of the High Court at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds.
The purpose of the meeting is:
- to present the background to the voluntary Corporate Rescue Procedures instituted by the shareholders of the company,
- to ratify the appointment of the Interim Corporate Rescue Practitioner of the Cold Storage Company Limited in terms of Section 124 (5) of the Insolvency Act [Chapter 6:07],
- to present the interim Corporate Rescue Practitioner’s interim report,
- to receive a statement by the Master about the reasonable prospects of rescuing the company,
- to appoint a creditors’ committee, and
- to provisionally approve claims, if possible.
BDO was appointed to rescue the CSC, once one of the largest meat processors in Africa, after Boustead Beef which had entered into a 25-year agreement to bail out the company failed to meet terms of the agreement but blamed the workers for its failure to take off.
Boustead Beef closed operations in September 2019 claiming that it wanted to retool but never re-opened and instead started the process of retrenching workers saying it wanted to make a clean start.
Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka, a former member of the CSC board, stepped and appointed BDO Zimbabwe as the corporate rescuer.
BDO Zimbabwe was tasked to:
- to investigate the company’s affairs, business and property and financial situation in terms of Section 134 of the Insolvency Act;
- investigate previous CSC operations and expose the weaknesses within the systems and recommend possible solutions;
- investigate adherence to corporate governance principles and recommend aspects that require strengthening;
- confirm the number and status of the properties and ascertain the status of all CSC assets;
- investigate claims of asset stripping or any other activities and institute measures to stop the asset stripping immediately;
- examine the Scheme of Arrangement and recommend appropriate measures;
- investigate the employment and dismissal of employees from the date the Joint Venture was signed;
- examine and recommend Pension benefits due to the employees;
- examine Boustead Beef (Pvt) Ltd’s current operations (investments made and operational initiatives implemented since the signing of the agreement) and establish whether or not it has capacity to revive CSC and advance the Livestock Growth Plan.