Sonangol to privatize 12 assets and wants to launch another 32 tenders

Asked to comment on the corruption cases associated with the oil company, Diamantino de Azevedo said that the process of restructuring the oil company, which includes the sale of these subsidiaries, also arises from this fight.

Angolan oil company Sonangol plans to privatize 12 of the 56 assets it wants to sell later this year, and also plans to launch 32 tenders, according to the company's president, Gaspar Martins.

During a meeting with journalists, Gaspar Martins said that “three real estate assets in Europe” have already been privatized and transferred to TAAG, the Angolan air carrier, two aircraft that were in the fixed wing segment (of the subsidiary Sonair).

On the same occasion, the Minister of Mineral and Petroleum Resources, Diamantino de Azevedo admitted that this may not be the best time for the privatization of assets, given the effect of the covid-19 pandemic, but added that this may also be the new normal.

"Let's stop? Shall we wait for this to end? We don't want to stop. There may be less revenue, but one should not look only at the revenues ”, underlined the government official, stressing that for Sonangol it would be worse to stay put than to sell the assets on the list.

The list includes divestments in Sonangol Cabo Verde - Society and Investments, Fuels and Oils of São Tomé and Príncipe, Founton (Gibraltar), Sonatide Marine (Cayman Islands), Solo Properties Nightbridge (United Kingdom), Societé Ivoiriense de Raffinage (Ivory Coast) ), Puma Energy Holdings (Singapore) and Sonandiets Services (Panama).

Also included are holdings in the companies WTA-Houston Express and in the French company WTA, in the oil companies Sonacergy - Serviços e Construções Petrolíferas and Sonafurt International Shipping and in Atlântida Viagens e Turismo, among others.

Asked to comment on the corruption cases associated with Sonangol, Diamantino de Azevedo said that the process of restructuring the oil company, which includes the sale of these subsidiaries, also arises from this fight.

"It is a process that will not end today or tomorrow," said the minister, declining to comment on the lawsuit involving Portuguese-Angolan businessman Carlos São Vicente, allegedly involved in an illegal scheme that injured the oil company by more than 900 million dollars (around 760 million euros).

“As far as we are concerned, we want to dominate aspects that can dilute the facilities for corruption”, underlined the minister.

Sonangol is the largest Angolan business group, with close to 10.000 direct workers and subsidiaries in the area of ​​air transport, telecommunications, real estate and fuel distribution, among others, with stakes in several companies and banks, including in Portugal (Millennium BCP and Galp).

During the meeting that took place at the Intercontinental hotel, recently opened after being nationalized in October last year, because it was built using public funds from Sonangol, the management model of the hotel unit was also questioned, still on a ' soft opening '.

According to Gaspar Martins, the building is not leased to the Intercontinental chain, and a management fee should be defined based on the unit's performance. Other services, such as 'spas' and casinos may be “tertiary”.

Regarding the reduction of Sonangol's participation in some oil blocks, the modality in which companies will be able to apply in the future is being studied: “There will be a clear document from Sonangol on how interested companies can compete”.

Minister Diamantino de Azevedo also addressed the privatization of the state-owned diamond company Endiama, explaining that it was agreed with the Ministry of Finance that the listing could only start after two consecutive years of audited accounts, without reservations.

The dispersion of part of the capital on the stock exchange is also dependent on the restructuring of mining companies so that Endiama “frees itself from its role as a concessionaire” and focuses on the role of operator.

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