The Government of Liberia announces the takeover of Sime Darby Liberia Plantation by a new buyer. The announcement was made in London on Thursday, 05 December at the ongoing Liberia-UK investment forum organized by the British Embassy in Liberia along with its UK trade center.
Making the announcement, Liberia’s Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lenn Eugene Nagbe said the government was pleased to announce the takeover of SDPL by Mano Palm Oil Industry (MPOI), a subsidiary of Mano Manufacturing Company (MANCO). It can be recalled that two years ago, SDPL, the world’s largest oil palm company by land size said it was planning to leave Liberia due to series of regulatory challenges which hindered its expansion, including lack of availability of land.
The Minister commended SDPL for getting a responsible buyer which is not new in the Liberian market.
The parent company of MPOI, MANCO has been in Liberia for over fifty years. MANCO is the largest manufacturer of household health and cleaning products in Liberia.
“Liberia is a country with a lot of potential to offer entrepreneurs and investors looking for opportunities,” he said.
Two such companies that have tapped into that potential are Sime Darby Plantation and Mano Palm Oil Industry or MPOI, he said.
“Sime Darby Plantation has been a key component of the palm oil industry in Liberia, providing locals with a source of income over the last few years. The Government of Liberia has seen the efforts Sime Darby Plantation put in to boost our palm oil sector,” he continued.
“So it was with a heavy heart that we received news of Sime Darby Plantation’s intention to exit their upstream operations in Liberia due to the extremely challenging commodity market conditions”, Nagbe noted
“The out growers’ scheme program is one vital component in the sector that has proven successful in many third world countries; and Liberia has encouraged local farmers to take advantage of this. This program will be introduced by the new buyer. It makes communities self-sufficient and empowers them. The good news to that is, funding for such program has been secured already and will be implemented in the shortest possible time,” he said.
He added, moreover, the out growers’ scheme, reduces the employment stress on government. The good aspect of it all is, Community members will take charge of their own local economy; improve their living standards. It was one of the preconditions set by SDPL to any buyer. We want to commend SDPL for such brilliant move.”
For his part, Mr. Mohamad Helm Othman Basha, Group Managing Director, Sime Darby Beherd thanked the Liberian government for its cooperation. He said, they have taken Liberia to another level in the oil palm sector.
He said, as a responsible company, they were committed to protecting their reputation and ensuring that the Liberian people benefit. Meanwhile, Minister Nagbe SDPL and MANCO were finalizing their terms and conditions of the Sales & Purchase Agreement and the Government of Liberia is taking key interest in ensuring the deal will go through for the benefit of the people of Liberia.