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The Federal High Court Lideta Civil Bench gives a green light for the Liquidity Supervision Commission of Holland Car Plc. (HC) to foreclose the car assembly.
The court had suspended an auction previously announced on May 15 after one of the company’s founder and general manager, Tadesse Tessema (Eng.), who returned to Ethiopia on May 12, filed an appeal objecting the auction.
Since the suspension of the auction, the owner had been attempting to lobby stakeholders and car buyers to support the recovery plan of the business that suspended production over two and half years ago due to bankruptcy.
Tadesse’s effort to convince the stakeholders, especially the 115 car buyers, was unfruitful, according to sources.
Tadesse had submitted a recovery proposal to the Liquidity Supervision Commission with hopes to revive the company. At the same time, he was discussing the proposal with the Ethiopian embassy in Brussels, Belgium and had sent a letter to the prime minister’s office.
Sources said that on Wednesday July 8, the high court has instructed the liquidity commission to go ahead with the foreclosure.
Tadesse had stayed in the Netherlands until he got legal guarantee from the Ministry of Justice to retun back to the country to settle the problems that pushed the pioneer car assembler out of business. Sources said that in the discussion that was held between customers and the car assembler failed as customers wanted to have guarantee from the car assembler. The company declined to give additional guarantee as the assembly will be jointly managed by the customers and other stakeholders, as is stated in the recovery plan, until the problem is solved.
The proposal stated that the company got six million birr injection from a foreign source to reinstate the assembly which is located at Mojo town, 75km east of Addis Ababa.
The previous foreclosure notice said the company will be auctioned up with a floor price of 83 million birr.
The other main shareholder Trento BV had acknowledged that the company has an outstanding debt of 97 million birr which includes 10 million birr tax, 31 million birr loan from Zemen Bank, and 22 million birr customers’ advance payments. The total asset value of HC at the time of inspection by the liquidity commission is close to 160 million birr.
Holland Car was established in 2005 through a joint venture between Tadesse Tessema and Trento Engineering, a Dutch company, with an initial capital of 11 million birr equally contributed by both shareholders.
During the ten years it was active in business, Holland Car had made a name for its Abay, Tekeze, Naomi and Awash automobile brands.