New DW investor starts clearing legacy debts

Business Reporter

AGRI Value Chain Zimbabwe (AVCZ), the new shareholder in David Whitehead Textiles Limited (DW), has started working on clearing all legacy issues, including paying pre-judicial management debts as the company readies for re-opening.

In a meeting with DW creditors yesterday, AVCZ owner Praduman Ganediwal, said he would ensure all the legacy issues are dealt with so that the firm can restart on a clean sheet.

Agri Value Chain Zimbabwe, a company linked to Parrogate — the largest secured creditor — recently bought 51 percent stake in the textile firm for $5,4 million.

The shares acquired by AVCZ were previously owned by Elgate Holdings, which lost its 51 percent equity after it failed to fully pay for the shares more than a decade after signing a share subscription agreement with the former ZSE listed firm.

The agreement was terminated in May this year for “non-performance” by Elgate after the High Court ordered the concession for the purchase of shares be revoked.

“I intend to bring to close all the legacy issues,” said Mr Ganediwal.

“I am willing to do this so that I walk in on a clean slate and work on the developmental agenda.”

“I have access to funding that will ensure that DW produces sufficiently . . . I already have in place a business model that I will only be able to go forward with once the scheme of arrangement is put in place and all legalities have been taken care of.

“My vision is to ensure that Zimbabweans wear garments made from textiles produced in Zimbabwe.”

“Let us join hands and walk together to greatness. Let us always remember that the beauty of business can only be seen in success, so let us not hinder it but rather provide key steps towards it. Let’s all look ahead and not waste another decade achieving nothing.”

Mr Ganediwal who was introduced at yesterday’s meeting received strong support from the majority of creditors keen to see the resuscitation of the company.

“As an investor, I am not short of opportunities to invest but I decided to take the bold step and put money to acquire majority shareholding of this company,” he said.

“Nobody else to date has made this bold decision. There has been vague interest here and there, yet the creditor continues to wait on the side lines with nothing coming their way.

“My decision was in part based on the assumption if I can’t get my money out, let me help us all to get out money by bringing David Whitehead to life once again.”

Earlier, judicial manager Mr Knowledge Hofisi had told the creditors that some funds have already been set aside to settle some of the obligations to the creditors. A similar meeting with shareholders will be held today.

DW woes began around 2004 when the company — weighed down by operational challenges and saddled with huge debts was first placed under judicial management.

Since then, it remained under the High Court-sanctioned reconstruction under three different administrators.

Tudor House Consultancy was appointed in 2004 and presided over the affairs of the company until 2008. Two years later, Elgate applied for another judicial management as fresh operational challenges including mounting debts re-emerged.

Petwin Executors, was appointed the judicial manager of the company. The sun almost set for DW
after Petwin recommended liquidation of the company.