July 4, 2017 / 10:10 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa's Transnet bids to recapitalise Zimbabwe's state rail firm

(Adds detail, background)

HARARE, July 4 (Reuters) - South African logistics group Transnet has bid to recapitalise National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) with $400 million, the State Procurement Board (SPB) said on Tuesday.

NRZ is saddled with a debt of $200 million and has gone for months without paying its workers as Zimbabwe's experiences a serious dollar crunch and electricity shortages.

Transnet made the bid jointly with Diaspora Investment Group, a group of Zimbabwean investors living abroad, the SPB said at its offices in the capital Harare.

The board also said Malaysia's SMH Railway has bid to spend $100.7 million to refurbish locomotives for NRZ, while the Zimbabwean operations of chartered accountants group Crowe Horwath International said it could secure funding of up to $2.5 billion for the state railway company.

In another bid, local firm Croyeaux Pvt Ltd said it would be able to organise $700 million in debt to recapitalise NRZ.

"Within the next coming 10 days we should actually be able to come up with a recommendation as to who the winning bidder is," NRZ chairman Larry Mavhima told reporters after the opening of six bids.

"What we are looking for is an investment in NRZ, whether its in debt form or equity and its not about buying a certain number of locomotives only," Mavhima said (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe, editing by Louise Heavens)

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