Zimre clarifies merger

HARARE - Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed insurance giant, Zimre, says it has no plans to merge its entities with First Mutual Holdings Limited (FMHL).

This was after businessman Patterson Timba’s company Renaissance Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) recently petitioned the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) to stop an alleged plan to merge its FMHL subsidiary and Zimre, and subsequently dispose them to a South African investor.

In a December 2 letter to the pensions’ administrator’s general manager Elizabeth Chitiga, Timba’s company called on the pensions administrator to “terminate all negotiations involving the former Afre Corporation (Afre) assets” until a number of cases around the 2011 takeover of the life group were resolved.

“Our client (RFHL) has become aware that you are involved in a transaction(s) that will result in the merger of Afre’s businesses with those of Zimre,” RFHL lawyer Vote Muza said in the missive.

“The plan being to then dispose a significant portion of the merged entity(s) together with management control to a foreign entity, who we currently understand to be the Sanlam Limited Group of South Africa,” he added.

However, Zimre company secretary Sibongile Mhlanga said RFHL accusations were unfounded.

“We would like to state categorically that no such discussions have taken place. At this point, there is no intention to merge Zimre’s business units with those of FMLH,” she said.

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