Moti Group in Talks on South African Steel Deal to Double Output

(Bloomberg) -- Moti Group is in talks to buy a steel business in South Africa that would potentially double the mining and industrial conglomerate’s production.

The deal would increase Moti’s steel manufacturing volumes to 800,000 metric tons a year, according to Chairman Zunaid Moti. The transaction may be completed in the next two months, he said in an interview at the company’s African Chrome Fields operations in Kwekwe, south of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

Moti declined to name the target company or estimate the value of the purchase, only saying that it is a “very big number.” Steel companies in South Africa include Aveng Ltd.’s Trident Steel unit, which is for sale, and Macsteel Service Centres SA.

Moti plans to rework its South African smelter to produce pig iron to support its steel products, he said.

Beyond the South African steel deal, the group will focus investment in Zimbabwe, he said. Moti plans to double his investment in the southern African country to about $500 million as the economy opens up following former President Robert Mugabe’s ousting in November.

The group also intends to expand into Botswana and will consider investments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, depending on the outcome of elections scheduled for December.

“In the DRC we see opportunities in the business of cobalt as well as the business of oil and imports,” Moti said. In Botswana, the group is discussing opportunities in diamond polishing and fuel supply.

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