By Mfonobong Nsehe*
Tanzanian multi-millionaire Said Salim Bakhresa is set to spend $30 million in acquiring a controlling stake in Blue Ribbon Industries (BRI), a flour milling company in Zimbabwe.
According to the Zimbabwe Mail, Bakhresa Group, one of Tanzania’s largest conglomerates, has officially notified Zimbabwe’s Competition and Tariff Commission that it plans to acquire a 100% shareholding in the troubled miller.
In 2014, Bakhresa Group won the bid to acquire a controlling shareholding in BRI after its core shareholders invited tenders for prospective investors to either buy BRI, or inject capital to revive the operations of the floundering company. BRI, which manufactures bread flour and stock feed, had been battling cash flow problems and was struggling to repay loans it owed to a consortium of Zimbabwean banks and trading partners.
Bakhresa Group was the preferred bidder. Bakhresa, which is the largest milling company in Tanzania, with operations in other countries in East Africa, indicated that it would provide equity capital of $30 million to BRI and steer the company back to profitability.
But the deal has faced stiff opposition from competitors and Zimbabwe’s Competition and Tariff Commission has dragged its feet in approving the deal.
Said Salim Bakhresa, who is the founder of Bakhresa Group, is the 3rd richest man in Tanzania with a fortune FORBES estimates at $600 million. His Bakhresa Group is involved in agribusiness, beverages, logistics, media, oil trading, recycling and packaging.
He was not available to comment as at the time of filing this report.