(Business in Cameroon) - Unless the actions carried out by the management of Necotrans influence the position taken by the Cameroonian side, the government should announce very soon the withdrawal of this French logistics company from the group who was awarded the concession contract for the multi-purpose terminal at the deep water Kribi port, built in the Southern region of the country.
Indeed, in a correspondence addressed to his counterpart at the Office of the Prime Minister on 11 July 2017, the Secretary General of the Officd of the President of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, on“high instruction” from the Head of State, ordered to the government to “note the shortcomings of the group Necotrans/KPMO and in a second stage, propose alternative solutions for a quick start of activities” at the multi-purpose terminal in the deep water Kribi port.
In other words, specifies a source close to the case, “this is about excluding Necotrans from this contract, due to its insolvency”. Indeed, for several months, this French logistics company has been facing huge financial difficulties, which led its management to request, in June, for a partial compulsory liquidation of assets held in France and Africa.
According to the French magazine Challenge, the sale of assets owned by Necotrans in the framework of this compulsory liquidation actually generated interest for many others, including Bolloré Transport & Logistics, who offered the sum of 600,000 Euros to acquire the assets of Necotrans France, as well as those of Transisud. At the same time, reveals the same source, SEA-invest is offering 6 million Euros for the assets of Necotrans in Senegal, while Nectar Group offered 3 million Euros for the Necotrans group assets in Togo and Congo Brazzaville.
For the moment, the Cameroonian assets of this logistics group are not concerned by this compulsory liquidation. However, could the financial resources received through this operation of liquidation be sufficient and help to strengthen its position on the Cameroonian market? In any case, the highly probably eviction of Necotrans from the concession for the multi-purpose terminal at the deep water Kribi port, as noted by our source, is an opportunity for the Cameroonian consortium KPMO (Kribi Port Multi-Operators), with whom Necotrans won the contract for the concession on the multi-purpose terminal of the largest port in Cameroon.
“Nationals are always complaining that the government has more trust in foreign companies than in local economic operators. This is a good opportunity for them to show what they are capable of! Otherwise, we would have to find another foreign partner, with a good financial capacity, to replace Necotrans on this terminal”, points out someone regularly associated to the port sector.
Upon observation, this second option could be the most plausible, as the Cameroonian consortium KPMO, itself financially limited, has not yet succeeded, as planned since its establishment, in buying the 20% shareholding set out for national operators in the framework of the concession of the container terminal, given to the French-Chinese consortium Bolloré-CHEC-CMA CGM. Indeed, only three companies in this consortium (Transimex, Copem and Sapem) of nine Cameroonian companies (APM, 2M, Transimex, Sapem, 3T Cameroun, Cam-Transit, Copem, STAR and GOS) were ultimately able to acquire shares in the capital of Kribi Container Terminal (KCT), the Cameroonian company operating the container terminal at the deep water Kribi port.
Brice R. Mbodiam