EMHolding signed a deal with Oryx Energies, a company
based in Geneva, Switzerland during a colourful ceremony held at Atlas Energy’s
head office in Old Jeshwang on 16 November 2017.
The signing ceremony was attended by staff of Oryx Energies, Atlas Energy and EMHolding.
The event was chaired by Edrissa Mass Jobe, a leading Gambian businessman, who is a household name in the country.
He has devoted his entire life in the business industry, bringing prominent investors into the country, with immense contributions to the socio-economic development of The Gambia.
Mr. Jobe’s name will remain in the history books of the country.
Oryx signed the agreement to become a major shareholder in Atlas.
The partnership will enable Atlas to play a more prominent role in the energy sector of The Gambia.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Jobe described EMholding as one of the leading investment companies in The Gambia.
He further elaborated that EMHolding, which is a social enterprise prioritizes investments in the energy and agricultural sectors.
In late 2015, Total Gambia and Elton Gambia were struggling because of the difficult business environment and the political climate of The Gambia.
Due to these challenges, both companies had liabilities far exceeding their assets. EMHolding acquired these renowned multinationals at a point when they owed the banks more than 600 million dalasis.
To avoid a potential collapse of the financial system and loss of many jobs, EMholding decided to step in and manage these distressed assets.
According to Mr. Jobe, EMHolding acquired Elton, Total and Galp Gas enabling it to operate in all the downstream sectors including aviation and bunkering.
He further cited that EMHolding chose to rebrand the company with the name Atlas to reflect the huge burden of debt similar to the burden of the Titan Atlas in Greek mythology that carries the earth on its shoulders.
According to Mr. Jobe, since inception Atlas has respected all its commitments with the banks and the Government paying over 800 million dalasis in custom duties and taxes.
Mr. Jobe also disclosed that in the latter part of the former regime all the multinationals in the petroleum sector; the likes of Shell, Total and Galp have all exited the country.
He went on to say since the advent of the new Gambia there is renewed hope and confidence in the business environment.
It is a credit to all Gambians that a peaceful transition to a more stable and competitive environment has piqued the interest of Oryx Energies.
He said Oryx, a multinational that invests mainly in Africa was attracted both by the country and the company. Oryx’s equity injection would relieve Atlas of its immense financial burden due to the high prevailing interest rates.
Oryx is currently present in 22 African countries and they strongly believe in the Gambian Market. The relationship between Atlas Energy and Addax Oryx group is not new, Addax a company within the same group as Oryx Energies has been Atlas’ fuel supplier from the very beginning and has partnered with EMHolding even prior to this.
According to Mr. Jobe, “EMHolding is committed to taking the lead in attracting more investors into The Gambia and this partnership with Oryx Energies will be beneficial to the Country.”
He praised the Government for the new dispensation and urged them to continue opening their doors to foreign investors.
Mr. Yves Kohler - Chief of Staff - Oryx Energies, said that their purpose in The Gambia was to finalise the partnership agreement between Oryx Energies and EMholding.
He was very appreciative of the warm welcome his team received and was happy to enter into this new partnership.
According to Mr. Kohler, Oryx always wants to work with credible companies and they found Atlas to be properly run, with high standards and strict business principles.
Mr. Kohler said Oryx will buy majority shares of Atlas and welcomed the staff to the Oryx Energies family.
He also informed the gathering that the newly formed board has appointed Hally Mass Jobe as the Managing Director and that they look forward to working together to make Atlas and Gambia better.