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Jun 19

GUYANA Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Harold Davis Jr, said the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited’s Special Purpose Unit was provided with all information necessary for the privatisation of the three sugar estates.

On Monday, Head of the Special Purpose Unit (SPU), Colvin Heath-London, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (Jamaica) Managing Director, Wilfred Baghaloo, told reporters that critical information on the factories at the Rose Hall, Skeldon and Enmore Estates was requested but to date, it has not been submitted but Dr. Davis said this is far from the truth.

Stating that he has seen the “emails and correspondence” between GuySuCo and the SPU, Dr. Davis, on Tuesday, told the Guyana Chronicle that GuySuCo submitted asset registers for each of the estates between 2017 and 2018.

“All the estates and all the properties have separate detailed asset registers, and those were submitted in full in 2017 and again in 2018. All the information they asked for was submitted to the SPU,” Dr. Davis insisted.

At a press conference held at the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited’s (NICIL’s) Camp Street Office, Baghaloo said, though he has not been in contact with GuySuCo but rather the SPU for the information, he wrote Cabinet complaining about the lack of information, which has proven to be a challenge.

Baghaloo explained that while negotiation for the sale of the Rose Hall Estate is in the advanced stage, the information is necessary to foster discussions on the sale of the Skeldon and Enmore Estates, which, for a large part, would require information on the value of the assets.“The challenges that we have augur primarily around information that we need from GuySuCo, financial information for each of the estate; to date I have not received that.

I have received the audited account for GuySuCo, that’s one thing; I need information for each of the estates, the valuators need information on major equipment, who are the suppliers, the last time the equipment were maintained,” the PricewaterhouseCoopers Managing Director detailed. In the case of Skeldon, he said, several companies have expressed their interest; however, they require information on the factory, and the equipment therein.

“With Skeldon, the challenge is proper information on Skeldon, the age of the equipment, the manufacturer of the equipment; we are still struggling to get information on the co-generation (plant), particularly the historical performance of it,” he pointed out.

But GuySuCo’s CEO is maintaining that the statements uttered by Heath-London and Baghaloo are misleading, since the required documents are with the SPU. “We submitted the asset register for each factory, and the asset register has all the information, and those statements are misleading,” Dr. Davis insisted.

Dr. Davis said GuySuCo would respond in full at an appropriate time but assured this newspaper that the SPU was provided with all the necessary information. According to him, the Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder and the Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, are fully aware.

Amid the contraction of the Sugar Industry, the David Granger Administration placed the Rose Hall, Enmore and Skeldon estates up for privatisation between 2017 and 2018. Already, there is major interest in the Rose Hall Estate, and according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, negotiations with an Indian-Ghanaian-Guyanese consortium is likely to wrap up in July, 2019.

Source: Guyana Times

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