French forestry and wood products group Rougier filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday, causing uncertainty for its nearly 3,000 employees in central Africa, a court source told AFP.
The 95-year-old company blamed major logistical problems at the port of Doula in Cameroon, as well as delays to tax refunds due from several Africa states which have caused cashflow difficulties.
The loss-making group manages over 2.3 million hectares (5.7 million hectares) of forests in Africa -- an area slightly bigger than Wales -- and runs seven factories on the continent, with employees in Gabon, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
Commenting Tuesday, Rougier said that problems at the Doula port had worsened in the second half of 2017 which had led to a sharp increase in the volume of stocks blocked in the export hub on the Wouri river.
The group criticised the inaction of the Cameroon government, saying the port ‘has not been targeted for investment and has silted up considerably, which is a problem for ships trying to get to the quayside to pick up containers for export.’
The group reported sales of 149.4 million euros ($185.2 million) for 2016, a fall of 7.5 percent, and said it was owed 15.6 million euros in VAT tax refunds from Cameroon, Congo and Gabon.
A bankruptcy court in the French city of Poitiers will decide on March 13 whether to order the liquidation of the company or appoint an administrator to try to turn the company around.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Sudanese barricade streets after seven killed in anti-coup protests
Somali government spokesman wounded in militant attack
Sudan doctors protest state violence in post-coup rallies
Mali ex-president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita dies aged 76
Ethiopia accuses WHO chief of links to Tigrayan rebel forces
Southern African bloc extends Mozambique troop deployment
Sudanese medics shaken by attacks on hospitals treating anti-coup protesters
SA parliament fire suspect charged with terrorism
UN starts talks in Sudan over post-coup crisis