mode-of-divestiture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The method of divesture depends largely on the nature and size of the SOE and whether there are shareholders other than Government. Where an enterprise is small or does not have a strategic dimension in the economy or a critical role in supplying social services to the surrounding community, DIC may move ahead to sell the selected SOE.

 

In other instances, DIC may carry out investigatory work on the SOE or appoint private sector consultants to advice on the divestiture options. In deciding on the appropriate strategy in parent Ministry of the SOE is fully consulted and kept informed of progress. In some cases alternative approaches are adopted: DIC may itself carry out the divestiture or engage private sector assistance to a greater or lesser degree to implement the divestiture, while maintaining control through clearly laid down mechanisms and terms of reference. DIC appoints a liquidator/receiver where that course is warranted.


In all these approaches, DIC maintains a balance between the necessity for public sector involvement in divestiture while permitting efficient use of private sector consultants/advisers for individual tasks or specific assignments. Ensuring public accountability for the sale of state owned assets while preserving confidentiality and minimizing the potential for conflicts of interest are major priorities not to be compromised.


There are a wide variety of options with respect to the form divestiture takes:


Sale of Assets


In general, when selling SOEs the Government assumes responsibility for the liabilities of SOEs being divested, including liabilities for employees End of Service Benefits. To date divestitures of SOEs have generally been in the form of sale of assets. Other divestiture options are the creation of joint venture companies between the State and the private sector investorand leasing of assets to private investors. When leasing, the investors undertake the necessary investment top upgrade the assets and manage them for an agreed period and normally there is a option in the lease agreement permitting the investor to buy the enterprise. Management Buy-outs and employee share ownership in enterprises are actively encouraged by the Committee and a number of schemes are currently being examined.


In certain instance, shares may be sold in enterprises as, for example, where there are already shareholders other than Government, or where there is a desire to have the shares of a qualifying enterprise quoted on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). Where the Government is a part owner of a private company through ownership of shares and wishes to divest its shares, it is generally required, by the Regulations of the Company and the provisions of the Companies Code, to offer shares to the other shareholders in the first instance.


In these circumstances, the price at which the shares are offered is a matter of negotiation between the DIC and the existing shareholders. In some instances, the Government retains some shares with a view to a future quotation on the Stock Exchange when the performance of the enterprise allows it to meet listing requirements of the GSE.

 

MODE/STRATEGIES OF DIVESTITURE

 

The DIC has successfully used a variety of made to divestiture. They include:

 

  • Trades sale to a private sector investor or consortium of the enterprise’s assets (either as a whole or in parts if the enterprise comprises a number of distinct businesses or divisions);

 

  • To creation of joint venture companies between the state and the private sector investor with the state as minority shareholder while management control remains with the private sector;

 

 

  • Total acquisition of assets by private investors. Existing liabilities are not passed on to the investors;

 

  • Leasing of plant and equipment, where the investors undertake the necessary investment to upgrade the assets and manage them for an agreed period with an option to acquire the assets within lease terms;

 

  • In certain instances, shares may be sold in enterprises where there are already shareholders others than government.

 

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The DIC's offices are located at No. F35/5 Ring Road East, Labone Junction. Labone, Accra.

  • Hot line: +233 (0302) 772049/773119/760281