BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
A South African firm, Mabentu Consortium, is making moves to take over Group Five subsidiary Intertoll Zimbabwe, which runs tollgates on the Plumtree- Mutare highway.
According to insiders, in November last year Mabentu and Group 5 entered into an agreement for the transfer of 100% of shares in Intertoll Zimbabwe to the South African firm.
Mabentu controls Mabentu Trade and Consulting Proprietary Limited (MTC), Marageng Rapid Acceleration for New Growth Proprietary Limited (Magareng) and LSNM Holdings Proprietary Limited.
Under the proposed deal, MTC is set to have 50%, Magarenge, 20% and the remainder will be held by LSNM.
The deal is now being scrutinised by the Competition and Tariff Commission of Zimbabwe (CTCZ).
Group Five has since been placed under liquidation after plunging into financial troubles.
On March 11, 2019, Group Five Limited and Group Five Construction Proprietary Limited (Group 5), a leading African construction, concessions and manufacturing group, was placed under business rescue.
CTCZ confirmed handling the transaction.” The Competition and Tariff Commission received a notification from the Mabentu Consortium in January 2020.The transaction is currently under assessment,” said CTCZ commissioner Ellen Ruparanganda.
According to reports, the construction and engineering company says there “is no realistic prospect” that its construction company will recover from the business rescue process.
In October last year, a chartered accounting firm, BDO South Africa, was appointed as external auditor for both G5 Limited and G5 Construction.
The auditing process is still ongoing, according to the group.
Group Five rehabilitated the Plumtree–Mutare Highway using a 10-year US$206 million loan facility secured from the Development Bank of South Africa in 2012.
Group Five’s Intertoll Zimbabwe controls 10 toll plazas along the Plumtree-Mutare Highway through Infralink, which it jointly owns with the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration.