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Russian firm eyes Zimbabwean asbestos manufacturer

A Russian firm has revealed its interest in joining the race for acquisition of Zimbabwean asbestos products manufacturer Turnall Holdings

FBC Holdings Limited, the banking group at the centre of the planned sale, has claimed that this development has raised the stakes in a bid that could see potential suitors adjust their proposals.

FBC Holdings has also denied reports last week that a Swiss-based firm was about to clinch a deal that would give it control of Turnall.

An FBC Holdings spokesperson said the Swiss consortium had only expressed interest in the company with no valuation having yet been agreed.

According to a Financial Gazette report, the Russians, said to have roped in the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), were said to be offering US$35mn for a controlling stake, against a US$13.5mn bid by a Swiss firm.

The FBC spokesperson revealed that the bank had received bids from several interested parties but were “currently engaged in serious discussions with a local bidder”.

The spokesperson declined to reveal the name of bidders, citing confidentiality. She, however, did not deny the Swiss had bid for Turnall, saying, “As part of its efforts to meet capitalisation requirements set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, FBC Holdings has indicated that it plans to dispose of its 59 per cent stake in Turnall Holdings.”

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