Govt to sell it's shares in coca-cola, JTL & BOPP

THE Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) has given three consultants the go-ahead to negotiate with three joint ventures towards the shedding of government shares in those companies.

The three companies are Coca-Cola, Juapong Textiles Limited and Benso Oil Palm Project (BOPP).

The government’s shares in the firms are as follows: Coca-Cola, 32 per cent, Juapong Textiles Limited, 49 per cent and BOPP, 40 per cent.

They form part of 10 such ventures programmed for share-shedding. Indications are that the process of negotiations with the three firms will be fast-tracked to enable the government to know the quantum of its shares to be offloaded.

The negotiations are expected to end by November 1, this year. In the process, the firms involved will have the first option of offer.

It would be recalled that President Kufuor indicated during his encounter with the media recently that the government expects about $25 million from divestiture by the end of the year.

Consequently, there has been mounting pressure on DIC to expedite action on the firms lined up for disposal of government shares.

Confirming the story, Mr Benson Poku-Adjei, the DIC Executive Secretary, said the second batch of similar ventures will be Barclays Bank Ghana Limited, Ghana Agro Food Company (GAFCO) and Tema Steel Works.

The government has 25 per cent shares in GAFCO, 40 per cent, in Tema Steel Works and 10 per cent in Barclays Bank.

Four other companies with government shares that will follow suit are Ghana Oil Palm Plantation Company, 20 per cent Twifo Oil Palm Plantation TOPP, 40 per cent PSC Shipyard, 40 per cent and Ghana Textile Print (GTP), 16 per cent. Mr Poku-Adjei gave the assurance that the DIC will not compromise its integrity in the process. “Committee members are aware of the onerous responsibilities on our shoulder and the President’s declared zero tolerance for corruption,” he said.

Consequently, negotiations with existing shareholders of the joint ventures are being done assiduously to ensure that nothing is taken for granted, he said. “We are conscious of the need to effect due diligence and also ensure reliable computation”, said the executive secretary.

Already, the government has made initial public offer of 25 per cent of its shares in Cocoa Processing Company (CPC).