mike bimha 09-11-10.jpgIndian multinational company, Essar Africa Holdings, has won the bid to partner the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO), beating another Indian company, Jindhal Steel and Sino Zimbabwe.

 

Essar Africa Holdings will officially take over 60% of government’s 90% share in the giant steel manufacturer.

 

Announcing the strategic partner for ZISCO, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Cde Mike Bimha, said the country’s principals settled on Essar Africa Holdings in the revival of the country’s steel giant.

 

“Government will now engage the new investor to finalise the remaining investment details. The new investor is expected to be on the ground before the end of the year and resume production as soon as possible.

 

“Accordingly and on the basis of my opening remarks, I am pleased to announce that the country’s three principals agreed and approved to the recommendation that Essar Africa Holdings be assigned the responsibility of comprehensively reviving the country’s steel giant, ZISCO,” said Cde Bimha.

 

Cde Bimha said Essar Africa Holdings is continuing with its expansion drive focusing on markets in Asia, Africa and Europe, among other countries, adding that the company has agreed to take over the company’s debt of US$240 million.

 

“The company is set to takeover the ZISCO US$240 million debt overhang which is one of the criterions used in identifying the final winner. It will take the debt without a liability to government,” Cde Bimha added.

stainless steel rods 29-09-10.jpgEssar Group has operations in more than 20 countries across the world and has a revenue base of US$15 billion, with over 60 000 employees.

 

At its peak ZISCO used to produce one million tonnes of steel, while Essar Group produces 14 million tonnes of steel annually.