ONE of the country’s leading land and property developers, Hawkflight Construction, has taken over the Bulawayo main branch retail and wholesale firm, Tradepower (Pvt) Ltd that was placed under liquidation in 2014 after failing to pay creditors close to $3,5 million.
The branch has now been rebranded to Coolland Trading.
Hawkflight finance executive, Obert Masara, told Southern Eye Business that they took over the business, including assets, staff and stock.
“It is to do with our expansion drive into the retail sector. It was a win-win position between the liquidator and us. We took over the business, including assets, staff and stock and we have done minor renovations and widened the range of products as we have included butcheries as well as bakeries. We are currently in talks to take over another branch in Bulawayo,” Masara said.
Masara said the acquisition of Tradepower increased their network service in the country to six. They have braches in Gwanda, Hwange, Maphisa and three in Bulawayo.
Tradepower was placed under liquidation in 2014 and Philip Ndlovu of PNA Chartered Accountants was appointed liquidator. The company voluntarily applied for liquidation after a cluster of creditors issued final demands or summons, a move that would have forced the firm to sell assets to pay off creditors.
Majority shareholder and director of the two companies, Raphael Howard Chitrin, told the High Court through a founding affidavit that the reason for failing to service debts was a sharp drop in business and profitability, attributed to massive closure of companies in Bulawayo over the past few years and job losses that had an adverse effect on disposable income.
Chitrin decried the anti-competitive business environment in the country caused by supermarket chains with organic links to South Africa that enjoyed generous lines of credit not readily available to local companies.
Tradepower, the flagship business unit of the Chitrin family, which operates in the retail and wholesale sectors from various premises in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, owes trade creditors in excess of $1 500 000, according to court papers.
The major creditors of the Chitrin companies are Central African Building Society and AfrAsia banks. These two are owed more than $1,5 million which they advanced to the enterprise as loans.
Hawkflight has an ongoing housing scheme where it builds core unit houses and hands them to prospective home seekers upon completion.
Beneficiaries pay between $120 and $130 over a period of 10 to 12 years. Through the scheme, the company built 185 houses at the new Pelandaba West suburb. Hawkflight is working on 3 500 housing units at Emthunzini Township, located between Pumula South and Nkulumane suburbs.
It is also working on projects in Gwanda and Plumtree.
The company invested about $2 million last year in the acquisition of state-of-the-art machinery as it consolidated its position in the property sector. Hawkflight is planning to venture into brick making to support its construction unit.