HARARE – A Zimbabwean coal company is planning to sell a town for $300m to raise cash to pay debts and employee salaries that date back to 5years.
Listed Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) says $500 million dollars capital injection is required to pay off debts and have put on the table an option to sell off the town for $300 million
The company’s board on Monday appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines were the dire situation in the mining town was laid bare.
Chairperson of the technical committees on operations, Ntombizodwa Masuku, said: “We have challenges with working capital; we need working capital because the equipment is obsolete.”
The company’s board is set to meet shareholders to discuss possibilities of him injecting fresh working capital into the business.
Controversial British businessman Nicholas van Hoogstraten the major shareholder in HCCL with a 26 percent stake through his investment vehicle Messina Investments has already been approached by the coal miner’s top management seeking capital to inject into the business.
Van Hoogstraten is known for his business empire as well as his life history: in 1968, he was convicted and sent to prison for paying a gang to attack a business associate. In 2002, he was sentenced to 10 years for the manslaughter of a business rival; the verdict was overturned on appeal and he was subsequently released, but in 2005 he was ordered to pay the victim’s family £6 million in a civil case.