Harare -Zimbabwe and Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP]
, the world’s second-largest platinum producer, said on Tuesday they agreed on the transfer of a 51% stake in the company’s local unit Zimplats to black investors in the country, as required by the government.
“Essentially we have found each other and that augurs well for the mining industry in Zimbabwe,” Implats chief executive David Brown
told a news conference after a joint statement confirmed the deal.
The agreement ends a war of words between the government and Implats over the ownership requirement, which had jolted investor confidence and was widely seen as a populist tactic by President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party in the run-up to elections expected later this year.
It remained unclear however how the cash-strapped Zimbabwean government would pay for the stake worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The joint statement said the 51% would be broken down as follows: 10% to the community, another 10% to Zimplats employees and 31% to the state’s National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund.
“The details are about the value. How do they value the shares? All that is to be worked out,” he said.