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Dashen Bank SC put Sheba Plastic Plc a subsidiary of Sheba Steel Mill on the auction block for the second time within three months following the latter’s failure to pay its due.
The plastic company, owned by Sheba Steel Mill, a company located in Debre Zeit, 40 km east of Addis Ababa, ceased production few years ago after the owners fled the country faced with several accusations from both government institutions and private individuals.
The Pakistani owners who were facing allegations of illegal business practices and tax evasion left the country a few years ago before appearing in court.
The two government offices, Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) and Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), are the major government institutions that were affected by the investors’ illegal actions.
The ERCA claims 100 million birr and EEPCo claims about 50 million birr in compensation from the company. The case has also been investigated by the Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission to clarify the illegal activities in the company and its relation with government officials.
After the Federal High Court heard the case in absentia it appointed the Metal and Engineering Corporation (MetEC) to manage the company and settle the dispute with the two institutions.
The company has also been sued by individuals and companies that supplied it scrap metal and other services. The steel factory engaged in the production of different metal products had also not concluded paying back its loan secured from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.
Since the owners fled the country, the plastic firm has suspended production, according to information obtained from its former employees. Employees of the plastic factory engaged in the production of PVC and HDPE plastic products have also sued the company and owners in absentia in claiming compensation and salaries, which is still pending waiting court verdict.
According to the notice Dashen Bank posted, the floor price for the company is 6.9 million birr. About a month ago the bank floated the plastic factory, which lies on a 5,000 square meter plot around Akaki Kality Sub City but only one interested buyer participated in the first round of auction. The auction was announced on November 8 and will open on December 12, 2013.