19 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Vitafoam Courts Investors

Bedding and foam manufacturer Vitafoam (Private) Limited says it is in discussions with potential regional investors for a US$5 million cash injection to boost production.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Distressed Business Rescue Conference in Harare a fortnight ago, Vitafoam's Business Development Executive George Mukamba said the company was in talks for cash but refused to name the potential investor.

"Currently there are negotiations with regional investors going on for a US$5 million cash injection. However, I cannot disclose who the potential investors are at this point in time," said Mukamba.

"But I can tell you the larger portion of this fresh money would go towards capital expenditure. We need new machinery to replace the old equipment we are currently using. The other part of the funds would be towards ensuring that we have adequate raw materials so that our products do not run out," he said.

"We are raring to grow and the reason that we are still operating despite many companies closing shows that Vitafoam is a company that is looking into the future," he added.

Mukamba said the Bulawayo based company's production capacity currently stands at 60 percent but they wanted to reach full production capacity after investing in new machinery.

He also said there was an increase in the demand for the company's products and the company would start exporting next year.

"Capacity utilisation is currently at 60 percent but we are looking to grow that to 100 percent should we bring in investors to buy new machinery. The machinery that we are currently using cannot meet the 100 percent capacity that we intend to reach," said Mukamba.

"We can indeed say in the two and a half years the company has been operating , a lot has taken place and one of these was the recapturing of the lost market share and right now there is confidence in our products.

"Plans for 2013 are that we begin exporting again. What we are going to export is not like the products that used to be exported under the previous Vitaform but there are new and relevant products in the market that we are going to export to satisfy those respective markets.

"There are a lot of market dynamics and changes that have taken place so we are endeavouring to keep up with those market trends. I am sure you are aware of the Asian products coming into the market but Vitafoam will still stand out because of the quality," said Mukamba.

Vitafoam went under liquidation in 2006. It started operating again in 2010 under new owners - a consortium of local businessmen that includes Home Affairs co-Minister Kembo Mohadi.

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