Privatisation Agency Sues Tabor Ceramics Buyer

The Seventh Bench of the Federal High Court ordered ALTEHET Engineering PLC to respond to charges filed against it by the Privatisation & Public Enterprise Agency (PPESA). The company, which has failed to remit the first of its instalment payments to acquire Tabor Ceramic S.C, as well as make payments on a loan provided to it by the Industrial Development Fund, is expected to present its defence to the Court on May 29, 2013.

ALTEHET bought Tabor, a former state property, from the PPESA, after it was floated for privatisation in 2011. On the fifth of August of the same year they agreed to pay 63 million Br to purchase the ceramics manufacturer. ALTEHET made an additional payment of 23 million Br (37pc of the total) a month later. The Agency also provided the company with a 24.9 million Br loan from its Industrial Development Fund to aid with working capital.

ALTEHET had agreed to pay the remaining 40 million Br of the purchase price over the next five years. This was in addition to the loan provided by the IDF, which was supposed to be paid in four years. Both payments began after a year. This is, according to the Agency’s charge, filed on March 17, 2013.

ALTEHET should have started repaying both loans by August 5, 2012. They received a warning letter six weeks after that date, but they did not begin making payments, the Agency claimed.

“ALTEHET was expected to pay within 40 days of the warning, but failed to do so,” the PPESA’s statement of claim said.

PPESA claimed 7.9 million Br for the factory’s first instalment and 8.4 million Br for the IDF’s loan, as well as interest, penalties and other payments.

The court, which heard the charge on April 11, has adjourned until May 29, 2013, to hear ALTEHED’s response.

Tabor Ceramic Products SC, established in 1989, lies on 206,250sqm of land in Hawassa town, the seat of the Southern Regional Government. It manufactures and markets ceramic products, including floor tiles.


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