Govt short-lists investors for CAPS

Source: Govt short-lists investors for CAPS | The Herald October 20, 2016

Business Reporters

Government has short-listed three investors for the takeover of the country’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, Caps Holdings. Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said that Government had identified three potential investors, two of whom had already presented their expressions of interest.

This comes after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had managed to settle outstanding debts with banks (mainly FBC Holdings and CBZ Holdings) through the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company and other individual creditors. The RBZ had also settled and bought out previous shareholder Fred Mtandah through an undisclosed amount.

“We have identified three potential investors. Two of them have already presented their expressions of interest while we have requested the third one to also submit the same,” said Minister Bimha adding: “We left RBZ to settle and clear all outstanding issues while we have also appointed an interim board to lead the process.”

The Herald Business understands that the two investors are from India and China. The pharmaceutical manufacturer shut down its operations four years ago due to under-capitalisation, massive debts and allegations of management malfeasance.

“We are concerned that CAPS Holdings is not functioning the way we would want it to. But there are so many enquiries from investors, both local and foreign, who would want to get into the company,” said Minister Bimha.

CAPS Holdings used to be one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in sub-Saharan Africa before it plunged into financial crisis. Units under the group include QV Pharmacies, Caps Pharmaceuticals and Geddes Limited.

At its peak, CAPS Holdings used to manufacture 75 percent of essential drugs in the country and was once listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.