Murray & Roberts rebrands

HARARE - Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed construction group Murray & Roberts Zimbabwe Limited (M&R) plans to change its name to Masimba Holdings following the successful disposal of the parent company Murray & Roberts’ 46,46 percent  stake to Zumbani Capital.

The deal was concluded through a special bargain on the local bourse in May, with 99 792 515 shares valued at $1,4 million changing hands at 1,47 cents a share.

Zumbani is an indigenous investments holding company owned 51 percent by Musasa Capital (Private) Limited while the other 49 percent is held by Capital Investments Holdings Limited of Mauritius.   

The name change is however, subject to shareholder approval at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) to be held on December 13. Canada Malunga, former M&R chief executive and also a non-executive director for Zumbani — a local investment vehicle that bought Murray & Roberts stake, said the name change had been necessitated by Murray & Roberts’ divestment from the Zimbabwean operation.

Malunga said Zumbani directors also intended to build an independent and neutral brand, key in building alliances and partnerships in Zimbabwe and the region.

“The board has considered this request and believes that it will be in the interests of both Murray & Roberts and the former controlling shareholders for the name of the company to be changed given that there are no further strategic linkages between the company and former controlling shareholders,” he said.

He added that Zumbani’s five-year strategic objective was to re-establish the company as a dominant player in the construction and manufacturing sectors in Zimbabwe and the region.

“In addition, Zumbani will support any capital call by the company to raise funds to build capacity.”
Plans are also underway to re-establish the company as a blue chip counter on the ZSE and recover market capitalisation that peaked at $40 million in 2010.

M&R has two operations, contracting and manufacturing.

The contracting division comprises Murray & Roberts Construction Zimbabwe and Proplastics.

The manufacturing division produces and distributes a wide range of plastic piping systems for different market niches, locally and regionally.  

“In the manufacturing division, the reconstituted board has already instituted an initiative that is nearing completion — a project to strengthen the division’s operational base and expand its product offering,” he said.

“Efforts to date have resulted in a streamlined, modernised and far more productive factory in Harare. As a result, the company has through its manufacturing division started expanding strongly in Zimbabwe and is pursuing exciting opportunities in the region.”

Paddy Zhanda, current M&R chairperson, is expected to step down at the forthcoming AGM, but will remain a director of the company.

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