Paramount takes over Archer after High Court deal

Paramount takes over Archer after High Court deal

BULAWAYO, April 21 (The Source) – Harare firm Paramount Garments has finally taken over Archer Clothing Manufacturers after bickering between creditors delayed the acquisition for over a year.

Paramount managing director Jeremy Youmans told The Source on Tuesday that the company had signed a Deed of Agreement at the High Court which is a legally binding contract between parties.

“We signed a Deed of Agreement with the High Court on March 2 and we are going ahead with the deal despite one creditor opposing the scheme,” said Youmans.

“So far we have recruited more than 500 people and we would be taking 42 every month until we reach our 850 target. However, we will officially announce more details at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.”

The annual trade showcase runs from April 28 to May 2.

Take over negotiations between the two companies started in 2013 after they initially entered into a cut, make and trim deal.

Under the deal the Harare company supplied clothing material and labour while Archer provided the working space.

At the first vote last March, 44 out of the 45 creditors approved the Paramount bid, but the one dissenter’s objection delayed the process.

Another attempt to take over the firm suffered a still birth after a creditors and members’ meeting that was set for November 5 last year failed to take place.

Archer Clothing was then given up to January this year to conclude the takeover or risk being liquidated, throwing more than 200 workers recruited in September last out of work.

However on January, the majority of creditors who are owed more than $14 million, approved the bid while CBZ Bank, which is owed $3, 8 million voted against it.

The takeover will lead to the revival of one of Bulawayo’s oldest companies. It was established in 1953 and before its collapse was among the largest garment manufacturers in the country.

Paramount has so far committed $2 million in reviving Archer, which needs about $5 million in the long-term to refurbish property, machinery, cater for human resources and working capital.