“The success in the Gambia of the TOTAL and ELTON Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) by EMHOLDING, in 2015 led by a team of entirely (100%), Gambian professionals and experts, remains to date, the biggest M&A in the Gambia, and in the region. This M&A venture, was also responsible for the introduction of the first major capital transaction to the Gambian market. This team of Gambian professionals was able to successfully and completely pay off all the recalcitrant bank loans, owed by these two companies, that had plagued the private Banking sector and caused a great deal of concern for the Central Bank of the Gambia (CBG) over many years.” Baboucarr Njie, Finance Director EMHOLDING.
EMHOLDING, Gambia’s leading venture firm and investor, has also recently successfully completed and exited the ATLAS M&A, by transferring all its shares to the Addax Oryx Group, an international company and one of the leading players in the petroleum downstream industry.
In 2015, the major oil companies ELTON OIL and TOTAL were in dire financial distress and defaulting seriously on their loans to the banks.
EMHOLDING acquired TOTAL Gambia, one of the oldest companies in the country, and the successor to BP and ELF. At the time, the equity value of TOTAL was significantly very low, because of high debts in the local market, representing over 5% of total bank exposure, amounting to over 300 million dalasi (at the time almost 7 million US Dollars).
EMHOLDING paid a high premium for TOTAL because of its brand value and Network fit. By restructuring TOTAL, EMHOLDING was able to maintain the entire local management staff, increase the Salaries of the junior staff, terminated the expatriate staff and rebranded as ATLAS.
During the completion period of the acquisition of TOTAL, ELTON a company in which EMHOLDING was a minority shareholder, and which was responsible for its entry in many markets in West Africa; was offered Shares by the ELTON group, thereby making it 85% owner of the company from an 18% equity shares. The Chairman of EMHOLDING, assumed the leadership as the Group Managing Director of ELTON, which until then, was a leveraged buyout and also owing the banks over 350 million dalasi (almost 7.5 million US$).
EMHOLDING changed the name of Total Gambia to ATLAS specifically because of the huge burden of over 10% of the National Bank exposure.
Like the legendary Greek Titan ATLAS, who carried the burden of the world, EMLHOLDING concentrated the debts of the two acquired companies, which presented a systemic risk to the banking industry at the time. After 2 years of close scrutiny by a Central Bank (CBG), that was hiding the failures of supervision, thereby allowing some banks to lend to such a high level of exposure by failing to control the levels of unsecured debt, based merely on name lending with no collateral. In the last days of the Jammeh regime and the early days of the new democratic Gambia, the Central Bank was too preoccupied with EMHOLDING’s refusal to provide security for loans given over a decade prior to the merger, rather than acknowledge their glaring failure to provide effective supervision of the uncontrolled lending by the private banks.
In the end, the success story of the TOTAL-ELTON M&A, is that it remains one of the biggest Mergers and Acquisitions in the region, and the fact that it was able to completely pay off all the recalcitrant loans that plagued the private Banks for many years; through a combination of Cost reductions, supplier credit and equity sales of the entire debts of the two companies. Throughout all this major transformation, EMHOLDING remained a Solid Employer and one of the biggest taxpayers in the Gambian economy.
As our journey continues, EMHOLDING wishes to inform the General Public that it has sold ATLAS to Oryx, a company of international repute. Now we enter into a new venture call LOGIX; a new retail brand in the Gambia and a wholly owned subsidiary of EMHOLDING Company Ltd. LOGIX was conceived to operate in the Mid-Stream petroleum industry; with a focus on Upstream Logistic, Storage, Refinery and Transportation. Logix and has already been introduced to the Gambian public, recently offering two brand new fuel service stations in Kotu and Sukuta with the plan to increase our network of service stations throughout the country.
EMHOLDING continues to be responsible for some of the biggest projects and companies in the Gambia, including EMPAS POULTRY, the leading poultry processing plant in the Gambia, which 10 years since its inception, continues to supply Broiler and Layer Day old Chicks to Gambian Farmers.
BAMBOO VILLAGE HOTEL, a joint venture, in partnership with one of Gambia’s most dynamic Hoteliers, Mr. Hatib Janneh, owner of the Seaview group.
GAMPETROLEUM Fuel Storage facility in Mandinary also represents one of our major legacy projects. EMHOLDING promoted and initiated the storage facility, which was and remains one of the largest investments in the country and a strategic National Asset.
Our Journey continues, and one of the central elements of our overall plan remains the indigenization of the Gambian business environment through employment creation and fulfilling our statutory responsibilities as an ethical business organisation.