Business News of Wednesday, 23 January 2013
The fate of troubled Intercity STC Company Limited is expected to be decided next month after a Board meeting for Trustees of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) -- the majority shareholder.
The Board is expected to discuss whether SSNIT is going to restructure the ailing transport company or sell off its stake in the transport company.
“It is the Board of Trustees [of SSNIT] that approved the payment of STC’s debts. The Board will meet next month to take a decision on [the fate of STC] so we can move forward,” Eva Amegashie, Corporate Affairs Manager of SSNIT, told the B&FT.
SSNIT had earlier stepped in, acting on a resolution passed by its Board, to save the company from imminent collapse by absorbing its debts as at October 31, 2012.
Since then, SSNIT has negotiated and paid GH¢23million of the GH¢45million owed by STC to its creditors as at October 2012.
An amount of GH¢7.5million was paid to Prudential Bank to cancel STC’s indebtedness to the bank. SSNIT has also paid GH¢5.1million to the National Investment Bank (NIB); GH¢554,000 to Agricultural Development Bank (ADB); GH¢1.7million to businessman Mr. Svani; and settled the six-month outstanding salaries of STC staff, which stood at GH¢1.66million.
J.A. Plant Pool Limited, which in May 2012 immobilised 20 buses of STC owing to the company’s inability to service its debts, was paid GH¢1.94million plus an additional GH¢6.088million.
STC, which currently operates a fleet of 30 buses, requires a minimum of 100 to operate at an optimum. That has made recapitalising STC crucial to ensure that the once-vibrant company takes its place in the booming transport industry.
The company last year entered into a partnership with a private company, Afrinat, in which the latter was to procure 50 buses and operate them using STC’s resources. According to the terms, Afrinat and STC will earn 70 and 30 percent shares respectively of the revenue accruing to the partnership.