WINDHOEK - One of Namibia’s richest men, Quinton van Rooyen has said Mexican billionaire investor Alberto Baillères interest in acquiring Erindi, Namibia’s biggest privately-owned game reserve, should bring a smile to every Namibian face.
Baillères, Mexico’s second richest man worth N$122 billion ($8.3 billion) is putting the final touches to the sale deal on Erindi private game reserve for a reported fee of N$2 billion. The sale is subjected to the approval of the Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC).
The game reserve, situated between Okahandja and Omaruru and measuring some 70 000 hectares, is owned by South African nationals brothers Gert and Paul Joubert. The game reserve has been on the market for five years for nearly N$2 billion.
“Baillères does not invest in states that are failing, and his willingness to invest in Namibia shows not only that our nation has promise, but that it has potential as a top-class investment destination,” said van Rooyen who founded Trustco Group Holdings in 1992.
Trustco is now one of the largest diversified financial services groups in Southern Africa with interests in banking and finance, insurance, and asset management.
Van Rooyen owns more than a 20 percent stake in the company, which is dual-listed on the Namibia and Johannesburg Stock Exchange. His stake in Trustco alone is estimated to be to the value of more than N$702 million (US$50m)
Van Rooyen, who took to Facebook to raise his opinion on the hotly debated topic, says Namibia, as a country must be a friend to the right kind of investor.
“A successful investment here has the potential to attract much more, and yet we’re chasing investments away in a time when every country in the region is competing for investment dollars,” he said.
“No one can deny that Namibia urgently needs to turn itself around – our economy is stalling, and we need an influx of capital if we are to have any hope of reviving it,” he added.
He said government has taken its first steps towards injecting the economy, with President Geingob directing his Economic Advisor team to secure N$15 billion in foreign investment over the next two years.
Now, as the world’s 32nd richest person attempts to inject a N$2 billion investment into the country, self-imposed interest groups are attacking and sabotaging not only his efforts, but the country’s efforts as well, said the businessman.
“While there are many types of investments that come with caveats we should have rejected in the past, the Erindi sale is of a different class,” he said. He said it is unfortunate that the Erindi sale has become political cannon fodder to settle political differences with President Geingob, while a broad consensus, the constitution and the rule of law guided the transaction. “We cannot throw away the key of opportunity, as to do so is to keep Namibia in the dark self-imposed exile of development,” he said.
“Factions and interest groups will come and go, but Namibia is forever. We, as a country, must present ourselves as friends to investors who share our values,” added Van Rooyen.
Caption (Van Rooyen)
2019-07-08 08:50:09 11 days ago