“They (Fortiz) are behaving like a criminal gang because they issue statements without signing their names… If your intentions are clear and pure, why do you fear to append your signature…?” questioned Atik Mohammed.
The Policy Analyst of the People’s National Convention (PNC) believes if Fortiz Private Equity Fund was engaged in a genuine transaction in the acquisition of Merchant Bank, any statement they issued, would bear names of Executives of the company (Fortiz).
The private equity fund announced through a press statement issued Wednesday and signed by unnamed directors that it had finally met all requirements by the Central Bank and was in the process of taking over the bank. The statement began with “FORTIZ PE ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF MERCHANT BANK ACQUISITION” and ended with a signature by ‘DIRECTORS-FORTIZ PE’.
But 24 hours after the statement, the Bank of Ghana said it is yet to give its final approval to Fortiz’s takeover of Merchant Bank. The Central Bank said the regulator would give its full endorsement after reviewing the responses to all the conditions set out for Fortiz, which the private equity fund said it has met.
Contributing to panel discussion on Monday’s edition of PEACE FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’, Atik Mohammed said he does not understand why ‘nothing on the statement shows the letter was from Fortiz.’
He opined that no one needs a rocket scientist to realize that the takeover of Merchant Bank by Fortiz is questionable.
Commenting further on the Fortiz-Merchant deal, Atik said he just cannot understand why government will sell state institutions when they could have invested in them. According to him, if government had invested ‘a bit’ in those companies they would have survived and created more jobs.
“Why do we have to sell Merchant Bank? It is as if there is this craze to sell every state institution whether it is viable or has potential or not. That is what Merchant bank is going through… Merchant Bank has got to this poor stage because of its debtors. If those in debt had paid their money, I don’t think Merchant Bank would have been this vulnerable…
Reports indicated that E&P had a weak commitment to repaying the loan; and they owe the highest percentage of money… he (Ibrahim Mahama, owner of E&P) has promised to pay the amount by 15 December and so he should be a man of his word and pay. I am waiting to see that after paying off his debt, SSNIT will still find it necessary to sell the bank," Atik Mohammed stated.
Source: Rebecca Addo Tetteh/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
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