UK-headquartered firm begins eight-month valuation of Guysuco’s assets

Last Updated on Monday, 15 January 2018, 17:20 by Denis Chabrol

The Special Purpose Unit (SPU) of the National Industrial & Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) on Monday announced that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) commenced the process of the valuation of GuySuCo assets today.

SPU-NICIL said PwC’s work on the GuySuCo project is expected to last eight months- that is around mid September.

PwC was selected from a field of the top four international financial services providers. PwC was ranked as the most prestigious accounting firm in the world for the last seven consecutive years.

NICIL and PwC signed the agreement on Friday, January 12, 2018, and work commenced today with meetings with the SPU team at their LBI Offices. Tomorrow, the PwC will hold their first meeting with the CEO of GuySuCo. The PwC team will be carrying out the valuation of all assets under the control of GuySuCo, and develop and investment prospectus as part of the consultancy. In addition to the valuation, PwC is expected to provide other advisory and financial services.

SPU Head, Colvin Heath-London, speaking after the meeting with the PwC team was quoted in a NICIL-SPU statement as saying, “We are encouraged that we were able to get the PwC team in so quickly. With the current developments in the sugarcane sector we are working to bring stability to the industry and affected communities as quickly as possible”.

Heath-London added that, “the work of PwC, given their vast experience in this type of process, will help all decision makers to arrive at the best decisions for the assets of GuySuCo, for other business that are in the GuySuCo supply chain, and most importantly for the workers who are uncertain about their future.”

PWC will be tasked with ensuring a level playing field for all interested parties and stakeholders as the process goes forward. Speaking today after meeting the SPU. PwC Caribbean Partner, Wilfred B Baghaloo, said “We look forward to this opportunity of working with Government and the people of Guyana  to a find a practical economic solution to the privatisation of the three sugar estates on a timely basis. This is indeed a challenging task but we believe that we are equipped with the necessary experience and skills set to ensure a successful project.”

Baghaloo was asked about an article that appeared today in the Guyana Times about a PwC incident in India, he replied that, “In respect of the India matter, i cannot comment too much on this  as the matter is subject to an Appeal.  In summary, the matter relates to a 2009 event relating to a specific company and a specific stock exchange. We continue to service our numerous clients in India and we continue to enjoy their support and confidence.  As is it relates to the task at hand in Guyana, our long history of strong commitment to excellence, integrity, innovation and quality will continue.”

Valuation of the Guysuco  assets is part of a plan to sell assets at the now closed Skeldon, Rose Hall, Enmore and Wales estates.

Guysuco plans to continue sugar production at an annual output of 147,000 tonnes from Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt estates.

Two locally owned companies- Nand Persaud Rice Mills and Demerara Distillers Limited- have expressed interests in taking over Skeldon and Enmore operations respectively. Nand Persaud is optimistic it can revive sugar viable sugar production at Skeldon while Demerara Distillers Limited wants to use Enmore to satisfy its molasses demand at a time of increasing overseas demand for its rums.