• September 19th, 2019

Sold!…Mexican billionaire an inch from acquiring Erindi

WINDHOEK - Mexican billionaire investor Alberto Baillères, worth N$122 billion ($8.3 billion) according to Forbes, is finalising a sale agreement with the owners of Erindi private game reserve.

Erindi, Namibia’s biggest privately owned game reserve, situated between Okahandja and Omaruru, measuring some 65 000 hectares, has been on the market for five years for nearly N$2 billion.
“Baillères, 87, Mexico’s second richest man owns Grupo BAL, which controls a large number of other companies including Industrias Peñoles, the second most important Mexican mining company.

He also owns the world’s largest silver producer, El Palacio de Hierro, a chain of department stores mainly located in Mexico City, Grupo Nacional Provincial, the only entirely Mexican owned insurance company, Grupo Profuturo, a pensions and annuities business.

In a media statement yesterday, Emergo Marketing and Public Relation Officer Servaas van den Bosch said all other governmental and regulatory approvals have been obtained and complied with in full. 
“The transaction is still subject to Namibian Competition Commission approval, and certain other contracting party-related suspensive conditions,” said van den Bosch.

When conducted for confirmation yesterday, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology said he was not aware of the deal and therefore could not comment.

“The government has engaged its lawyers through the Attorney General’s office and the Ministry of Land Reform. I advise that you contact the Attorney General’s office as the matter is yet to reach my office for sharing,” he said. 
Attorney-General Albert Kawana’s phone yesterday went un-answered.  
Van den Bosch said Baillères, is a highly respected Mexican business leader and philanthropist, who is president of the multi-national consortium BAL Group. 

“Baillères has experience with managing several wildlife protection ranches in different parts of the world,” he said. 
He said Baillères’s intention is to continue Erindi’s activities in eco-conservation and the preservation of flora and fauna species that are unique and an essential part of African culture and heritage, including some rare and endangered species. 

“This will bring benefits to all Namibians and the country. The number of jobs at Erindi will be preserved and within this number, new and better-remunerated opportunities will be created in the country, directly and indirectly,” he stresses. 
He said Baillères’s aim is to upgrade and enhance Erindi, creating a world-class attraction and protecting its wildlife by implementing international best practices in anti-poaching and conservation initiatives. 

Van den Bosch quoted Baillères’s Legal counsel, Koos Pretorius of ENSafrica as to have said: “Mr Baillères has stressed his commitment to preserve Erindi for the benefit of future generations of Namibians and the world. The intention is to turn Erindi into a flagship private game reserve, and any future profits generated from this social enterprise will be primarily reinvested in Erindi.” 

Pretorius according to the statement said Baillères visited Namibia several times and admires the beauty of the country and the spirit and warmth of the Namibian people. 

“The transaction-oriented due diligence confirmed that while Erindi would not be suitable for farming or resettlement, it holds important potential as an area for wildlife conservation,” says Pretorius.
“The buyer’s plans for Erindi will greatly benefit the tourism sector, job creation and skills development, and of course in consequence the Namibian economy,” he added. 

Pretorius says Baillères has complied in full with each and every regulatory approval required under Namibian law. 
“The government responded professionally, efficiently and promptly, and were scrupulous throughout the process,” he added.  According to Pretorius, Baillères has stressed the importance of his plans for Erindi being well received by Namibians. 

He said Baillères has made it clear from the outset that he will only complete the purchase of Erindi if all legal requirements are in place and if he and the investment he intends to make are welcomed by Namibians.

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2019-05-23 08:25:29 3 months ago

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