BULAWAYO – A make-or-break meeting is on the cards on Thursday at troubled Bulawayo textile firm, Merlin, as shareholders make moves towards rescuing the company from the abyss.
Major shareholder, Delma Lupepe, confirmed on Wednesday that the meeting was on and would effectively come up with a solution to the crisis they were facing.
“We are meeting as shareholders to discuss the company’s position. This is a very important meeting as we will be able to finalise what we would be doing going forward. You know the company has been under judicial management and we feel it is high time we move it from there and start making it profitable,” Lupepe said.
The meeting comes hot on the heels of a pledge by state-owned financier, the Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation (ZAMCO), that it will take over the debt the company had accumulated over time and also inject new capital.
ZAMCO chief executive officer, Cosmas Kanhai was recently quoted in local media as saying his organisation, working with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), would finance Merlin’s operations and revival.
Merlin was once a vibrant company in Bulawayo. It used to employ thousands of workers in the city but the country’s socio-economic problems took their toll on the company, forcing it into judicial management in 2011. At the time, the company was saddled with a debt amounting to over $6,3 million.
Current calculations show that the company would need over $40 million to get it on its feet. This would be used to cover input, machinery, and overhead costs and the procurement of raw materials.