(Business in Cameroon) - In an official statement published on September 5, 2017, the Bolloré group which operates various port terminals in Africa denied acquiring the stakes of French logistics firm Necotrans in Kribi’s deep-water port’s multipurpose terminal which is yet to start operations in the South of Cameroon.
“Unlike what is being said around, Necotrans’ stakes in the Kribi terminal were not acquired by Bolloré Transport & Logistics,” reads the statement which however indicates that the group acquired Necotrans’ minority stakes in the Douala International Terminal (DIT), concessionary of the container terminal of Douala’s port.
Bolloré’s announcement came after French newspapers Les Echos claimed that it replaced Necotrans in the consortium to which was awarded the concession agreement for the multipurpose terminal of Kribi’s port; this after Necotrans was put under receivership in France. The news was relayed by various Cameroonian media, despite having not been officially confirmed by authorized sources from the local subsidiary of Bolloré Transport & Logistics.
The official denial issued last September 5 thus reopens the race to take Necotrans’ stakes in the multipurpose terminal. A race whose starting blocks, it should be recalled, already count Filipino firm ICTSI and Singaporean group Olam International.
Truly, we learned from well-informed sources that Olam and ICTSI had met on July 25 and 28, 2017, respectively, with government officials to begin talks to join Cameroonian group KPMO which was also awarded concessionary agreement for the Kribi port multipurpose terminal in 2015.
However, in sight of Necotrans’ financial issues, Cameroon’s presidency via a letter dated July 11, 2017, signed by its secretary general, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, and addressed to his counterpart from the Prime Minister’s office, urged the government to “find alternatives to fill the vacuum present in the Necotrans/KPMO consortium, so that operations at Kribi’s deep-water port’s multipurpose terminal commence rapidly”.
Brice R. Mbodiam