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Hilton among 10 entities up for sale

The Ministry of Public Enterprises is to fully transfer 10 enterprises to private ownership. These enterprises are expected to be up for auction the current fiscal year.

According to the ministry’s annual plan, the 10 enterprises will be up for auction in different tender mechanisms.

The list of enterprises to be transferred to private ownership includes Hilton Addis, Assela Malt Factory and the National Alcohol Factory.

In this regard, the ministry announced that it would soon begin asset valuation of Hilton.

Most of the time asset valuations of enterprises under the ministry will be done by experts from the ministry, Asebe Kebede, assistant director of corporate communications at the ministry, told The Reporter.

This time around, when it comes to Hilton, the ministry is considering outsourcing the asset valuation work to either private firms or public institutions, he said.

Once the asset valuation is completed, the hotel will be up for auction.  

It is to be recalled that a couple of weeks ago the ministry opened an auction for Shebelle Transport S.C., and a local company offered a total price of 225 million birr to fully purchase the government’s stake in Shebelle. 

In addition to that, the government shares in BM Textile and Garment S.C., Africa Tibila Juice S.C., Abiyata Shala Soda Ash S.C. and the Ethiopian Crown Cork and Can Manufacturing Industry S.C. (ECCCMI) will be transferred.

Two years ago, the then privatization agency tried to transfer 75 percent share of ECCCMI and managed to get a 206.2-million offer from a company called Fairfax Africa Fund. However, after months of negotiations, a deal has failed to materialize.

In addition, the ministry had planned to fully transfer Abaya and Arba Minch farms. For lack of any takers, these two farms are now leased out to private investors.

The current investors will be given the first priority to fully acquire the farms, said Asebe. If not, other investors will be invited to do so.

As far as a joint venture development with the private sector is concerned, the ministry will invite investors to develop the Ethiopia Pulp and Paper S.C. and the Arjo Dedessa Sugar Factory.

Arjo Dedessa, now under the Ethiopian government, was first owned by a Pakistani company called Al-Habasha P.L.C.

Later, the company failed to run the business properly, and the factory was transferred to the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation.

During last fiscal year, the ministry bagged total revenue of 12.66 billion birr from the transfer of enterprises to private ownership. From the total revenue, most came from the sale of 40 percent of the government’s share in the National Tobacco Enterprise.

It is to be recalled that Japan Tobacco International bought the afore-mentioned share for USD 510 million.

Meanwhile, it was disclosed that the ministry would also invite private investors in value addition and development of mineral resources.