Peugeot Automobile France, has officially confirmed why the company, Dangote Group and some other interests (floating a joint venture) decided to abandon its bid to buy over PAN Nigeria Limited from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

Speaking exclusively to Transport Day newspaper in Lagos yesterday, the representative of Peugeot Automobile France in Nigeria, Mr. Eric Maydiey, said the joint venture, known as Dangote Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (DPAN), decided to opt out because over a year after bidding for the company with 52m Euros (over N21b), AMCON is yet to declare it as the winner of the bid.

According to him, DPAN has decided to build another Complete Knock-Down (CKD) auto assembly line in another location in Kaduna, which will be more modern and cheaper to achieve.

He stated that “we plan to do CKD in the new plant because CKD has a lot of advantages, but with SKD (Semi-Knock Down), there is no advantage to the country”.

The Peugeot boss affirmed that with the recent development, PAN Nigeria will no longer have the franchise to produce Peugeot vehicles in its Kakuri, Kaduna plant again.

According to him, DPAN plans to start the production of vehicles in its new assembly plant in Dutse, Kaduna, along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway by 2019.

To kick start the process, DPAN recently published an advertisement for invitation to tender for the construction of a modern auto plant. According to the advertisement, the tender closes June 7.

While Dangote group holds a controlling share of 51% in DPAN, Peugeot France holds 10 %, while the Kaduna state government and some one state governments own the remaining stakes. Peugeot France shareholding in PAN Nigeria Limited is only 3.5 %.

It would be recalled that AMCON took over PAN Nigeria from the controlling shareholder, ASD group, due to its huge unservicable debt burden. ASD had earlier bought over the federal government’s shares after the government decided to sell its holdings in all auto assembling plants during the Obasanjo civilian government.

Calls put through to the Spokesman of PAN Nigeria Limited, Mr. Haroun Malami were not responded to.

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