Monday, 5 July 2010 9:07 AM

NPF Stands Ready to Assist Soltai

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Provident Fund, Tony Makabo says the Fund is ready to inject $100 million into the premier fishing and processing company in the country, Soltai.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Mr Makabo said the move to assist Soltai is still a proposal, saying they are leaving the shareholders to sort themselves out before the Fund can decide what to do.

Mr Makabo said if things go well and the existing shareholders and the national government agree on a way forward, then the NPF would be willing to participate in an important investment for the country which would provide much needed revenue and employment.

"If the opportunity is given to the Fund to invest in Soltai, yes, NPF would be willing to participate with an investor that knows the industry and has management experience."

Chairman of the Soltai board Tony Hughes last month said that a general meeting of the company in Honiara on 16 June decided to increase Soltai's authorized share capital to enable shares to be issued to TriMarine and National Provident Fund in return for the injection of $100 million into the company.

Mr Hughes is hopeful that the funds will enable the company to regain a sound financial basis, and to make the necessary capital investments to build up its workforce "to raise production to levels at which the business is expected to be commercially sustainable."

Soltai is owned by Western Province, TriMarine and the government through Investment Corporation of Solomon Islands.

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