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BizDay Zimbabwe

Pioneer waits on Government

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PIONEER Africa Corporation has submitted an updated compliance proposal of its indigenisation plan and is now waiting for Government’s response. Group chief executive officer Mr Albert Ushe said the company was hoping to get a response soon following the appointment of a new Cabinet last week.

“We have submitted our latest proposal to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board and we are just waiting for a response,” Mr Ushe said.

“Since Cabinet has been announced, we hope that we will soon get a response. They have been asking for information and we have been giving them (the additional details),” Mr Ushe added.

President Mugabe named a 26-member Cabinet on Tuesday after Zanu-PF won the July 31 harmonised elections.

Former Environment Minister Francis Nhema was appointed Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, taking over from Mr Saviour Kasukuwere, who assumes the environment portfolio.

Several other big companies from across various sectors of the economy, including Old Mutual, Zimplats, Mimosa Mining, Unki and BAT have already submitted their plans.

Companies in Zimbabwe are required to obtain indigenisation compliance certification while foreign- owned firms are compelled to sell 51 percent to indigenous people as espoused in the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.

Pioneer is also seeking Government approval for a transaction in which it acquired fellow transport and logistics concern Unifreight Swift in August 2011.

While the transaction has already received the endorsement of the ZSE and the Competition and Tariff Commission, it is yet to get the thumbs-up from the Government.

Pioneer said it would not include Unifreight’s financial results when it presents accounts for the half-year to June 2013 pending Government approval.

“We are still consulting on the issue. The ZSE and the Competition and Tariff Commission have approved the transaction, but we can’t incorporate UniFreight results in the half-year.”

Pioneer acquired Unifreight Swift in a US$7,2 million deal seeking to reposition itself as a leading player in the transport sector.

Once all the regulatory approvals are obtained Pioneer is expected to issue a total of 514 974 875 shares of US$0,008 each for the purchase consideration of US$4 million.

But to make this possible the ZSE-listed firm will ned to raise its authorised share capital from 600 million ordinary shares to 1,4 billion ordinary shares.

Pioneer will also take up US$900 000 Unifreight, pay US$1,5 million for the Swift brand over five years and US$711 000 for Unfreight’s IT system payable over three years.

After completing the acquisition the transport and logistics company will see the value of its asset base increasing by a significant US$12 million to about US$30 million.

Pioneer will acquire trucks, trailers, vehicles and equipment from Unifreight as the group bids to regain the market share it lost during the past decade.

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