At least five foreign investors have shown interest in investing in struggling food processor, Olivine Industries, a company official has said.
Jonas Mushanguri, the Olivine managing director told delegates attending the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) post budget meeting yesterday that there had been an increased interest in the cooking oil sector since dollarisation in 2009.
“First it was United Refineries that received foreign investors and the results are there for all to see as their products are now prominent on the market. Shortly afterwards Surface Investments also came into the country and invested,” he said.
In 2013 Surface Investments established a $7 million new solvent extraction plant aimed at boosting its production. The oil seed processing firm is currently projecting sales of over $40 million, out of which $20 million will be for exports.
IETC Zimbabwe’s joint venture with Parrogate Zimbabwe, Pure Oil, is another company that recently joined the cooking oil sector in the country.
Pure Oil was formed two years ago and commenced full-scale production in December last year.
Mushanguri noted that while the five foreign investors were yet to commit any funds to Olivine, their interest alone was good enough to instil confidence in the cooking oil sector.
“I would like to commend the government for creating a conducive environment for foreign investors to come in,” he said.
Sources said Olivine – currently operating below 35 percent capacity utilisation – required at least $25 million for recapitalisation.
Olivine is owned by the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe and Cottco Holdings (Formerly AICO Africa Limited).
Cottco bought a 49 percent stake in Olivine for $6.8 million in 2007 from Heinz Corporation.- The Source