IDCZ surrenders Willowvale, Deven control

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Tinashe Makichi

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDCZ) has started the hunt for investors to take up controlling shareholding in Willowvale Motor Industries (WMI) and Deven Engineering as the state-owned investment vehicle looks at focusing on its new development financing role.

IDCZ in collaboration with State Enterprises Restructuring Agency (SERA) is looking for strategic partners to take up 74 percent shareholding in Deven and Willowvale.

“IDC, working in collaboration with SERA, wish to invite strategic partners to invest in Deven Engineering (Private) Limited (Deven Engineering) to dilute current shareholders up to 74 percent while Willowvale shareholders will be diluted to 74 percent as well,” said chairman for IDCZ  Management Transaction, Collin Mutingwende.

WMI was established in 1961 and is owned 91 percent by IDCZ and the remaining nine percent shareholding is held by a Workers Trust. WMI is involved in sales of Completely Built-Up (CBU) vehicles (currently Mazda and Mahindra) and is contract assembling BAIC pick-up trucks from Semi-knocked Down Kits.

It has installed capacity for production of light and to heavy-duty trucks, and buses and agricultural tractors.

Deven Engineering was incorporated in Zimbabwe in 1986, having been in existence as Brockhouse since 1961. It is wholly owned by IDCZ and the company’s core competence is truck and bus body manufacturing done on a rolling chassis or from Semi Knocked Down Kits.

The engineering firm can also manufacture various road trailers, tankers and specialized vehicle bodies such as compactors, dumpers, tippers, refuse trucks and carry out repair work.

The company is currently a dealer for Yutong buses in Zimbabwe.

The recent move by IDCZ of inviting for expressions of interest comes at a time when government has availed US$30m for the group to kick-start its development financing role for the local manufacturing sector.

IDCZ is also engaging two prominent regional development finance institutions (names withheld) for a U$50m towards the same cause. 

Its mandate has been to drive industrialisation but in the past the state investment vehicle diverted and started to run companies which it owns.

Following a Cabinet resolution that IDCZ should start providing development finance to the industry, the corporation approached IDC South Africa for US$20m to kick-start this role.