Friday, December 15, 2017

Major interest in sugar factory

The divestment of the Sugar Manufacturing Company Ltd (SMCL) has garnered "major" interest in the international market.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the facilitator for the sale, said just one week after the advertisement for investment opportunities they have had major local and international players requesting site visits.

Varune Mungal, director of the Business Recovery Services Department, said potential buyers in the local business fraternity also expressed an interest in the business "as is".

" We have had a lot of interest, people are willing to invest in SMCL and get it going again," he said yesterday.

He said though the bid is open to international investors, the deal only covers the physical assets and not the land that the property is on.

"The opportunity is only for the building though, the land is not included in the investment deal," he said.

Mungal said for an international investor, it may mean dismantling and moving the entire building or making lease arrangements for the land.

Though Mungal said the property was last evaluated a few years ago, he was unwilling to divulge the cost, but said it was a "multi-million dollar" asset.

"But in instances like these, the market really decides the value," Mungal said.

He said PWC was not going to be part of the final evaluation committee, so he could not confirm when the factory would change hands, but said there was a site visit planned for June 21, so all potential buyers could tour the property, all follow-up queries will be in and answered by June 24 and then tenders would close by July 1 at 3 p.m.

"So its hard to give an exact date, but we should hear something about a week after that," he said.

The tender process gives potential investors the opportunity to invest in the Ste Madeleine sugar factory, the Ste Madeleine sugar refinery, the Sugar Shipping Terminal at Point Lisas and the sugar warehouses at California and Point Lisas.