Nujoma approved Erindi sale ... Mexican billionaire insists
WINDHOEK - Mexican billionaire investor Alberto Baillères is adamant that he has receive government approval to purchase the multi-billion-dollar game reserve despite Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila’s insistence that no such consent was yet granted.
Speaking through his local public relations agency, Emergo Communications, Baillères refuted claims by Kuugongelwa-Amadhila that there was no authorisation granted by the government to the owners of Erindi to sell the 65 000-hectare game reserve to a foreigner.
“This waiver was duly obtained from the Minister of Land Reform, and the sale of Erindi to Rembo Ltd was given consent by the Minister of Land Reform in terms of the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act, without any conditions,” said the Mexican who according to Forbes is worth N$122 billion ($8.3 billion).
“The waiver was obtained during the last week of April,” he added.
When New Era tried to get comment from the Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma yesterday his phone went unanswered.
Baillères says the Ministry of Trade, Industrialisation and SME Development under the Foreign Investment Act of 1990 has issued a Certificate of Status Investment, approving him (Baillères) as an investor.
Baillères says Kuugongelwa-Amadhila or the media reports created an impression that such approval is subject to meeting conditions set out by opposition parties and traditional authorities during the course of last week.
“Both assertions are unfortunately not accurate in that the transaction is currently being independently considered by the Namibian Competition Commission (NCC),” said the 87-year-old Mexican billionaire.
He added that Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is correct that under current legislation, a waiver needs to be obtained before the property can be sold to a foreigner or a Namibian.
“The only outstanding regulatory aspect is approval by the Namibian Competition Commission, which investigates whether mergers or acquisitions stifle competition or create undue market dominance,” he said.
He said the merger filing in respect of the Erindi transaction was submitted jointly by the current owners of Erindi and Rembo Ltd, the special purpose vehicle created for this transaction with the NCC during May 2019.
Baillères says he has identified Erindi as a significant philanthropic investment.
“One of the major factors in his decision to buy the game reserve is that Namibian law allows him to acquire 100% of the shares in the companies that together make up Erindi,” the statement said, adding that this is the best way for reasons of sustainability, management and control.
“I complied in full with each and every regulatory approval required under Namibian law,” he added.
“I have made it clear from the outset that [I] will only complete the purchase of Erindi if all legal requirements are in place and if [I] and the investment [I] intend to make is welcomed by Namibia,” he said.
2019-06-10 09:16:07 6 days ago