9 June 2019

Zimbabwe: Brainworks Appoints Saungweme New CEO

Mauritius-based firm Brainworks Capital has appointed Zimbabwean Peter Saungweme as interim CEO following the resignation of Brett Childs.

In a statement, the company said Saungweme was appointed on June 5 as the company believed that the business would benefit by transitioning to a Zimbabwe-based CEO.

Saungweme has worked for the group for four years as chief financial officer of Dawn Properties until March 2017and then occupied the same position at Brainworks Limited.

Brainworks said Saungweme would use his deep understanding of the group's assets and his knowledge of local business, political and economic environment in Zimbabwe to further enhance returns from the re-focused portfolio.

Childs resigned following the completion of the restructuring of the group's portfolio, which he largely drove over two and a half years.

In 2017, Brainworks Capital founders George Manyere and Walter Kambwanji sold their shareholding in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company and acquired the company's investment in Getbucks.

Last year the group disposed of some of its stake in GetBucks Microfinance Bank to reduce its short-term debt as part of its restructuring process.

The company's restructuring process has delivered a significant financial turnaround as demonstrated in its 2018 financial results.

In its 2018 financial results, Brainworks reduced its debt by 55% to US$17,1 million from US$38,3 million recorded in the comparative period due to capital initiatives carried out during the year and cost-cutting measures such as the disposal of the company's financial services business.

The group recorded a 35% increase in revenue to US$79,3 million from US$58,6 million recorded in the prior year and earnings of US$10,4 million were recorded compared to a loss of US$8 million in 2017.

Childs will be retained for six months in a consulting capacity with a specific remit to assist with the transition and conclusion of some strategic tasks.

Brainworks has a Zimbabwean hotel and real estate investment portfolio and its shareholders that hold more than 5% shares include Red Rock Capital Limited, Air Capital Limited, Fintrust Pension Fund and Adcone SA.

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