HARARE, May 6 (The Source) – The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) says will sweat its real estate and property assets to raise capital to finance immediate needs,but expects to find a strategic partner by end of the year.
NRZ chairman Larry Mavima said in an interview the parastatal would soon float a tender inviting bids to recapitalise its operations.
“As a board, we have terms of reference and we are going to ask for bids to recapitalise the entity. A transaction advisor will help us to assess the bids and we are going to spend the rest of the year doing that, andhopefully by the beginning of 2017 we will have a partner,” he said.
Last year,government said it was negotiating a $600 million loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). Mavima said this was one of the optionsthat the NRZ board was considering.
The parastatal requires at least $500 million in the short to medium term to fund its turnaround efforts. The company says it needsleast $2 billionin the long-term to restore full viability.
NRZ has an array of properties in Zimbabwe and outside the country worth millions of dollars. In addition, it also has mining claimsin Zambia and South Africa.
Mavima said the parastatal would not rush to dispose any of its assets as its current challenges were surmountable.
“Asset disposals are serious issues that need to be well thought out, ourdecisions will be made with a lot foresight. These are nationalassets so we shall not rush to make that decision,” he said.
The parastatal owes its 6,000 employers over 12 months in unpaid salaries amounting to about $87 million and the workers recently went on strike demanding their dues.