One of the Nigerian oldest and largest automobile assembler, PAN Nigeria Limited, has been sold to a yet-to-be-revealed core investor for a sum of N21b.
According to a top management member of the company, who confirmed the development to Motoring World in anonymity over the weekend, the company’s managing director, Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, made the announcement at a management and staff meeting held on Tuesday, September 8.
While the name of the core investor is yet to be revealed, an unconfirmed source Suggested Dangote Group.
As a build up towards the change of ownership, which is expected to happen before the end of September, top management members of the company were said to have submitted their resignation letter for onward transmission to Abuja.
Efforts to reach the company’s Public Relations Officer, Oladeji Bamidele, over the weekend, proved abortive, as the call returned : “The number you are calling cannot be reached.” But according to The SUN Newspaper’s Motoring Editor, who succeeded in speaking to him, the PAN PRO confirmed the sale of the company, although AMCON has not communicated to PAN officially.
He was quoted to have said: “I can confirm to you that PAN has been bought by an investor, but I am not sure about the amount you have just mentioned One thing that is certain is that it is good news for PAN. I see it as a positive development, because these days when funds are hard to come by, this means that the company will be in a stronger financial standing, and can now go to the market and look for funds.”
A joint venture between the Federal Government and AP France, Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited (now PAN Automobiles Limited) was conceived in 1969 by the then Federal Military Government under the leadership of General Yakubu Gowon and was incorporated on December 15, 1972. And 27 months after incorporation, the Kaduna based assembly plant was commissioned by General Yakubu Gowon on March 11, 1975.
Peugeot Automobile Nigerian commenced production on March 2, 1975 with an annual output of 60,000 cars, improving substantially to 90,000 cars per annum in the 1980s with more than 2000 staff on its payroll. PAN’s role in the industrial sector at inception, was significant as it greatly relied on local suppliers who provided about 37% local content for production.
Between 1975 and 1986, PAN produced the 404 Salon alongside the 504 models. The first 504 was a 1.8L engine base model accompanied by its luxury series with a 2.0L engine capacity. In 1986, the 504 Ambulance was introduced, while the J5 and Boxer followed two years later. The first series of the 505 was eventually replaced by the 505 Evolution in year 2000. Other models produced by the company which came in quick succession between 1995 and 2008 include the 306, 406 and 307 Sedan respectively.
In October 2011, PAN Nigeria Limited, in effort to reassert its position as the country’s leading automobile manufacturer, signed a Technical Agreement with Changan International Corporation (CIC), the fourth largest automobile plant in China, and the brand owners of Alsvin, to produce and market the product in Nigeria and West Africa.
In November 2006, PAN was privatized in line with Government’s agenda to build a stronger, more competitive and diversified economy; ASD Motors emerged as the successful core investor and took over management of the company in January 2007.
The expectation was that the privatization of PAN would create a quantum leap in performance, but that has not happened as planned. Following the accumulation of huge non-performing loans (NPL) indebtedness to banks, in October 2012, the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) acquired the debts of the company and converted a portion to equity to help restructure the firm.
This had been the development until AMCON was said to have found a core investor recently. By implication, any moment from now, PAN Automobile Limited would not only be placed under a new management, with the new fund, the company would be given a new lease of life.
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