By Mbatjiua Ngavirue WINDHOEK Namibian businessman Peter Kavaongelwa this week bought out the 60% shareholding of Cameroonian national Antoine Mbok in the huge Northland Development Project at Helao Nafidi. The move is being seen as a major business coup for Kavaongelwa who now replaces Mbok as the controlling shareholder in the prestige project following what is described as a multi-million dollar deal. The project has been plagued by disputes for control of the development, leading to several lawsuits being filed against the project promoters. Tony Mbok’s 60% shareholding was held through the South African registered company Antoine Mbok Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd (AMI) and the Namibian registered vehicle Mbok Investments Company Ltd (MINVESTCO). In a statement released two days ago, Tony Mbok said AIM and MINVESTCO had transferred their shares in Northland to PLN Business Solutions cc. The transfer is to be effected by way of sale in exchange for a multimillion-dollar payment deferred over 24 months. Mbok says the decision to sell was made during an extraordinary shareholders meeting of MINVESTCO attended by his mother Mrs Amandjou Suzanne Mbok. Mrs Mbok, who has been in Namibia for the past four weeks, is a major shareholder of MINVESTCO USA – the source of most of the initial funding for Northland – according to the statement. PLN Business Solutions cc was described as a completely Namibian owned company managed by a local group of Namibians from the Ohangwena region. In a telephonic interview yesterday, Kavaongelwa confirmed the purchase, adding that he was in fact the 100% owner of PLN Business Solutions cc. Kavaongelwa’s main business interests are in the property sector with Leka Developers in which he is a 50% shareholder, but he also owns a 33% stake in the cosmetics distributor PK Worldwide. The statement from Mbok says PLN Business Solutions cc will assume immediate control of both the Board of Directors and management of Northland Development Project. During the 90 transitional period Tony Mbok, current chairman and CEO of Northland is expected to pass the helm to the new management team. He will not remain on board as a director, but depending on final approval by the new board he will become a consultant. The professional team established by the outgoing management is not expected to change. “MINVESTCO is satisfied with this deal as it will allow for the project to take a new direction, including Namibian shareholding of more than 85%. “This deal automatically cancel any legal action engaged by Northland against its former directors, avoiding what would have been costly years of court battles,” Mbok said. AMI Holdings and MINVESTCO as shareholders however reserved their right to legal action against certain institutions and individuals.
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