The government investment arm, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has confirmed that it has put up for sale its assets at Plots 475 Lobatse, commonly known as Cumberland Hotel. The sale is part of a review of BDC’s business portfolio, which is aimed at appropriately allocate funding to priority industries.
In an interview with Sunday Standard on Friday, BDC Head of Marketing and Communications Boitshwarelo Lebang said the sale of Cumberland Hotel is in line with BDC’s new business strategy, which will see the corporation shedding some of its assets in a bid to restructure its balance sheet.
“To this end, BDC will divest from approximately 12 percent of its current portfolio of projects and shed assets that do not necessarily fit into the new strategy. BDC is looking to pioneer investment in new sectors and make way for the private sector to perform competently and create employment in some sectors,” said Lebang.
So far, BDC has divested in a number of companies, including Toro lodge in Kasane, Khawa lodge in Ghanzi and Golden Fruit in Ramotswa. Lebang explained that through the divestment strategy, BDC hopes to empower Batswana and the private sector by facilitating direct ownership of its former assets by the private sector.
“As indicated previously, the sale of Cumberland is part of a larger portfolio restructuring exercise,” she said.
Through this portfolio restructuring process, BDC hopes to create a stronger balance sheet from which it will launch future initiatives that will diversify the economy, create jobs and strengthen exports. Already, BDC has published sale advertisements for the auctioning of Cumberland Hotel. Lebang further said BDC is fully committed to ensuring that all its divestment activities follow the highest standards of corporate governance and are carried out in a fair and transparent manner.
“We are looking to empower Batswana by facilitating direct ownership of these assets by the private sector. We are also fully committed to ensuring that all our divestment activities follow the highest form of governance and are carried out in a fair and transparent manner. Please note that our divestment strategy does not necessarily mean that people will lose their jobs,” said Lebang.
She also expressed confidence that Cumberland will continue operating, though under a new owner.
“We are still committed to Lobatse as we hold significant investments in the area, including Lobatse Clay Works and Can Manufacturing Botswana,” said Lebang.