18% of Expresso Ghana sold; 82% with escrow agent

18% of Expresso Ghana sold; 82% with escrow agent
Source: Samuel Dowuona | Adom News
Date: 11-04-2016 Time: 01:04:29:am

The most current financial report from Sudan Telecom (Sudatel), owners of Kasapa Telecom Limited (Expresso Ghana) indicates that 18 per cent of the company has indeed been sold and duly transferred to an unidentified buyer for $5million.

This is contained in the 2015 fourth quarter financial report of the company, signed and published on March 30, 2016, less than two weeks ago.

The report noted the remaining 82 per cent was also put under an escrow agreement between Sudatel and buyer and the shares was duly transferred to an escrow agent, who was to collect payment on behalf of Sudatel.

The escrow agreement was due to end March 31, 2016 (11 days ago), but it is still not clear if the buyer has paid the difference and taken full possession of the remaining 82 per cent.

The sale of Kasapa has been shrouded in so much secrecy that till date the buyer has not been named and the telecoms regulator in Ghana, National Communications Authority (NCA) has earlier said they do not have official communication about the sale of the company.

But in its financial report dated March 30, 2016, Sudatel stated that way back “May 2014, the Company (Sudatel) entered into a share purchase agreement (SPA) to sell its 100% shareholding in its Ghanaian subsidiary (Kasapa Telecom Limited)”.

It said “under the terms of the SPA, the buyer has paid US$5million for the equivalent of 18% of the shares in Kasapa. The ownership of the 18% shares has been transferred to the buyer. In 2014, the sale of the 18% ownership in Kasapa has been accounted for in equity.”

The report further explained that four month ago, in December 2015, Sudatel entered into an escrow agreement to facilitate the sale process of Kasapa. The terms of the escrow agreement was due to expire on March 31, 2016, subject to extension by mutual agreement between Sudatel and the buyer.

It said as per the terms of the escrow agreement, Sudatel has transferred the remaining 82% shares to the escrow agent, adding that upon the escrow closure, the legal and beneficial ownership of the remaining 82% will pass to the buyer and the outstanding sales consideration deposited with the escrow agent will pass to the Sudatel.

The report noted that as at December 31, 2015, the operations of Kasapawere still being classified as a disposal group and a discontinued operations, held for distribution to equity holders of the parent.

In the red

Meanwhile, the financial statement of Kasapa captured in the report indicate that the company is deeply in the red.

The income statement for the year ending December 2015, indicates a whopping net loss of US$5.53milion, which was even an improvement from that of December 2014, which stood at US$8.2million loss

The statement showed that Kasapa’s assets was worth a little other US$24million, but that was negated by its suffocating liabilities, which stood at US$34million plus, leaving it with net asset of US$10million in the negative.

On the cash flow side, it recording negative US$11,000 for the year.

It would be recalled that recently, the caretaker Managing Director of the company, Colonel Larry Gbevlo-Lartey left them even before the expiry of the escrow agreement.

But Col. Gbevlo-Lartey is not the first MD who has left the company since 2008 when Sudatel took over. It begun with Bob Palitz, who left HishamAyoub; then he also left for El Amir Ahmed El Amir, who also left before Col. Gbevlo-Lartey took over as caretaker MD.

While, El Amir was here, he started a process to sell the company to the Jospong Group of Companies but that was exposed as conflict of interest, since the Jospong Group owns SubahInfosolution Limited, which audits telecom operators in the country.

Till date, the Jospong Group is the only known entity to have started a purchase discussion with Sudatel in Ghana, but now Sudatel has refused to tell its shareholders and key stakeholders who the current buyer of Kasapais.

Meanwhile, the fate of workers of Expresso Ghana is still in limbo as they are now without a substantive or even a caretaker MD, except some Sudatel staff who come in from Sudan or Dubai and go occasionally.

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