Lancashire deal collapses

By Staff Reporter

The deal between government and a Botswana based Indian company Whinstone Enterprises to revive Lancashire Steel has collapsed.

Whinstone Enterprises which signed a five year deal to revive the moribund government owned Lancashire Steel has said it was committed to revive the parastatal once government signed trade agreements.

Government has however, said the deal collapsed following the investors failure to meet the expected requirements.

In an interview Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu explained, “As government, the position is that the agreement failed to meet the expected government standards.”

The deal if it was to be consummated was going to give Whinstone Enterprise 50% ownership of the Kwekwe based firm after five years.

Interestingly the investors had not made available the figure they were pouring into the project.

Whinstone Enterprises Director Deepak Verma speaking from his Botswana base said they are awaiting government response on the outcome of the deal.

“We received communication from government that we are supposed to renegotiate the deal with Lancashire Steel.

“We are really surprised with the turn of events as we didn’t expect this outcome considering that we thought we had addressed all the sticking issues,” Verma said.

Verma indicated that he was shocked with the sudden turn of events.

“At the present moment I am in the dark on the consummation of the deal. We are actually surprised that the deal did not pass through the Joint Ventures Act. What is quite disturbing is that we are only hearing of this now. To further complicate the issues we were not given reasons for the failure of the deal to pass through the joint ventures act,” he said.

The frustrated Verma said they are only waiting for the government to get a clear picture.

“We are engaging government, we have been writing to government on what needs to be done. We have been asking them on the way forward on whether we have to reengage on what has lapsed or on the way forward, we are still awaiting,” he said.

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