April 5th, 2011 by Tom Minney
Zimbabwean private equity firm Brainworks Capital Management has reportedly launched a $20 million fund targeting Zimbabwe’s agriculture, financial services, mining and telecommunications sectors, according to a report on www.privateequityafrica.com.
The Herald newspaper says Brainworks Capital was established earlier in 2011 and will enable Zimbabweans to own stakes in a wide range of companies as required by indigenization laws. Brainworks is offering 400 milion ordinary shares at US$0.05 each to pension funds and local and foreign institutional investors.
According to the Herald, Brainworks is targeting an internal rate of return of 30% on its investments and looks for equity stakes of at least 25% and representation on the board of its investee companies. It aims to hold investments for 3-5 years. It was founded by investment banker George Manyere, who used to work with the International Finance Corporation, and chartered accountant Mr Walter Kambwanji who used to work with HSBC. They have a combined 12.9% shareholding in Ecobank Zimbabwe, formerly Premier Banking Corporation. Mr Manyere is the managing partner and Chief Investment Officer and Mr Kambwanji is a partner and Chief Finance Officer.
The fund has reportedly arranged $6.8 million in bank financing. It aims to invest the biggest part of its funding in gold mining. In January Cape Range Ltd (www.caperange.com.au), listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, announced that its subsidiary Cape Range Zimbabwe (Private) Ltd has entered an option agreement with Brainworks subsidiary Brainworks Capital Mining (Private Ltd), in which Brainworks would offer $2.4 mn for 30% of the company and become indigenization shareholder. Cape Range comments: “This transaction is seen as an extremely positive move forward for the Company to operate in Zimbabwe, as Cape Range endeavours to comply with the Zimbabwean Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.” However, the option expired on 31 January.
Another subsidiary, Brainworks Capital Financial Services, assumed effective ownership of the 12.9% shareholding in Ecobank Zimbabwe and it can boost its stake to 30% in line with indigenisation approval conditions that were set when Ecobank invested in Premier.
Non-executive directors are: Mr Richard Muirimi (chairman), Vulindlela Ndlovu, Alwayn Scholtz (Scholtz Attorneys in South Africa), Swiss-based Cornel Vermaak and German Dirk Harbecke.
January 14th, 2011 by Tom Minney
According to media reports, Zimbabwe’s Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere is declining to give permission for leading gold miner Duration Gold (www.durationgold.com) to raise US$7 mn by listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange (www.tmx.com).
According to a report in businessdigest of the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, the minister wants an empowerment plan detailing how Duration will empower black Zimbabweans in line with the Government’s 2010 economic empowerment regulations under which foreigners must sell controlling shareholdings to black Zimbabweans.
He also apparently believes the money could be raised locally on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
The minister confirmed that Duration had written for permission to list but told the newspaper “I cannot comment on anything”.
The company is an investment by Clarity Capital (www.claritycapital.com), a US-based fund founded in 1996 by Allan Dolan, that claims on its website: “Clarity has the capital and in-house expertise to create and grow successful businesses. We don’t just invest in promising ventures, we incubate and operate them.
“Clarity specialises in the minerals, life sciences, energy and creative industries sectors. Our entrepreneurial team of over 25 technical and commercial experts, from scientists, engineers and geologists to accountants, lawyers and financiers, are passionate about building value. Our goal is to deliver returns of 5 to 10 times our invested capital over a 3- to 5-year period.”
A fellow company, Whetstone Minerals, is listed on the TSX. According to the news report, Duration intended to retain 30% of the capital raised outside Zimbabwe for head office expenses. The newspaper does not report any comment or confirmation from the company.
Duration’s website describes it as “a Zimbabwe focused, private, emerging gold producer and explorer. The Company, majority owned by Clarity Capital and its employees, currently has a global resource base of 4.2 million oz of gold. Formed in 2006, Duration partnered with two long standing Zimbabwean mining families, the Muirs and the Thompsons, and now owns 5 core assets with historic production of 4.6 million oz. Each core asset has the potential to produce over 1 million ounces of gold. Duration is licensed to market and sell its gold on the open market. It sells gold at international spot prices and receives freely transferable foreign currency in return. The company is cash flow positive and generates a healthy EBITDA from its current operations.
Duration’s objective is to develop its existing asset base into a 350,000 oz per year producer, based on 5 bankable feasibility studies targeted for completion by 2014. Acquisition of additional producing and advanced stage assets will also bolster the company’s annual production.”
Zimbabwe’s economic regulations gazetted in March 2010 gives the Minister authority to approve and disapprove deals involving foreign equity participation. He previously sought to block the sale of Barclays Bank subsidiary, Custodial Financial Service, on grounds that the bank did not comply with indigenisation and economic empowerment regulations. This deal was part of the sale by Barclays Bank plc of its African custody businesses to Standard Chartered Bank.