Four buyers bid for Gulliver assets

Walter Muchinguri Assistant Business Editor
At least four buyers are bidding for Gulliver Consolidated assets that are up for sale, the provisional liquidator of the steel company Mr Reggie Saruchera has said. Mr Saruchera said they have been seeing an increase in buyers interested in the assets after they decided to dispose assets separately as opposed to a whole unit.

“We decided that we will sell the Harare assets separately from the Bulawayo assets to make it easier to sell them because the money required for each unit will be less and we are more likely to find willing buyers for each unit.

“Obviously we realised that it would be difficult to get a buyer for the whole group as was the case with Blue Ribbons and Cairns. “We are currently in negotiation with the four prospective buyers although we are expecting more,” he said. Mr Saruchera said that the cost of the Harare and Bulawayo units will be subject to negotiations with the prospective buyers.

“For the Harare operations we are looking in the region of $5 million but the Bulawayo operations are likely to cost less because the property values there are not as high as those in Harare,” he said.

Gulliver was placed under final judicial management in 2013 after facing liquidity constraints, unsustainable high costs of borrowing and high administrative costs. However, Gulliver Consolidated voted to dispose of its assets worth $5,3 million after the company failed to attract new investment to turnaround the fortune and retire debts.

Major creditors include Interfin Bank which is owed $2,3 million, ZB Bank $1,4 million and Agribank $321 692 while statutory bodies are owed $1,1 million and employees $842 000. The company has several divisions engaged in engineering, galvanising and steel fabrication which include Morewear, Moresteel, Industrial Galvanising and Fabrication, Lysachts Steel Merchants and Gulliver Logistics.