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Nine months after they began negotiations two local companies have partnered to settle an initial 35 percent share of their offer to privatize Artistic Printing Press.

Feleke Trading Plc and Corporate Computer Center Plc, who formed a limited partnership to buy the printing press, settled 35 percent of the total 328.88 million birr amount that they agreed to pay.

During several bidding processes the Ministry of Public Enterprises (MoPE) which was earlier known as the Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency tried to privatize the printing enterprise, but it was not successful.

In some of the bids the enterprise never received any interested buyers.

During the bid opening on November 2015 the two partners expressed their interest in managing the company, which is located in the heart of Addis Ababa around National Theater at the price of 328.88 million birr.

According to Wondafrash Assefa, Public Relations head of MoPE, the two partners signed a purchase agreement with the ministry on Tuesday September 6.

Wondafrash told Capital that the limited partnership of Feleke Trading Plc and Corporate Computer Center Plc settled the 35 percent of the total amount, which is 115.1 million birr.

“The balance of 65 percent will be settled within five years as per the agreement between the two parties,” he added.

In the bid that opened on November 2015 the partnership of Feleke Trading Plc and Corporate Computer Center Plc was the only contender for Artistic.

During the same bid opening date two textile factories located in Amhara region at Bahir Dar and Kombolcha town did not get any interested bidders.

Currently three public enterprises are on the table to be privatized under negotiation, according to the Public Relation head of MoPE.

The enterprises that were tabled are Bahir Dar Textile, Kombolcha Textile and Ethiopian Crown Cork and Can Manufacturing.

On several occasions the two textile companies were tabled for privatization, but none of them were able to be privatized.

Crown Cork and Can factory located at the southeastern outskirts of Addis Ababa is the only crown packaging factory in the country owned by the government, meanwhile there are very few similar factories established in the past few years.

Recently the ministry has concluded the highest ever sales in the privatization history with the national monopoly tobacco factory.

The Japanese state owned firm Japan Tobacco Inc has offered and paid USD 510 million to acquire 40 percent of share of the National Tobacco Enterprise.

Besides Japan Tobacco Inc., the seller of Camel and Winston cigarettes outside the US other dominant tobacco firms like British American Tobacco have expressed their interest in becoming shareholders of  the enterprise.

Diageo Plc is the company known for investing a significant in a public enterprise when it  fully  acquired Meta Brewery in 2011 at the total cost of USD 225 million.