• Friday, June 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

PAN’s N21bn acquisition report misleading – AMCON

PAN Nigeria Limited

Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has dissociated itself from some newspaper report that PAN Nigeria Limited (formerly Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited) has been sold to a new core investor at N21 billion.

When contacted by text message Monday, Jude Nwuzor, head of corporate communications of AMCON, said, “The process is ongoing, but not fully consummated. We will issue a statement at the end of the transaction. AMCON does not announce asset sale in the middle of a transaction until the deal is concluded. What you are reading in some media platforms are speculative reportage. I also do not know where they conjured the N21 billion they claimed we have sold PAN for.”

PAN Nigeria Limited was conceived in 1969 by the then Federal Military Government under Yakubu Gowon, now a retired general.

The then sprawling automobile assembly plant, employing thousands of Nigerians built at the cost of N8.5 million with an installed capacity for about 20,000 Peugeot cars produced annually, was later commissioned on March 14, 1975 as a joint venture between the government of Nigeria, Automobiles Peugeot of France and Nigerian shareholders.

When the balance sheet of the assembly plant began to show negative after many years of struggle in the face of dwindling demand for new vehicles up until 2005, ASD Motors acquired the plant under the Federal Government’s privatisation programme at the sum of $32 million.

Later in the year 2012, the assembly plant came under the receivership of AMCON, a recovery agency of the Federal Government that has been managing it pending the time a new core investor would be found.

When contacted last week, head of corporate communications for PAN, Oladeji Bamidele, would not confirm the development to BusinessDay. According to Bamidele, “AMCON has not communicated to PAN officially” even as he disclosed that he too had also heard the news of the sale of the 45-year old plant, saying that the picture would become clearer as the days and weeks roll by.

Bamidele stated, “Until AMCON communicates to the PAN management officially, everything we are hearing remains a rumour.”