A new core investor is set to take over the management of PAN Nigeria Limited (formerly Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited) in Kaduna by October 2020, after paying N21 billion.
This followed the sale of the plant to the investor by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) whose identity is yet to be revealed.
Peugeot was conceived in 1969 by the then Federal Military Government under General Yakubu Gowon. Then, 16 vehicle manufacturing companies tendered to have a vehicle assembly plant in Nigeria.
It was later commissioned on March 14, 1975 as a joint venture between the government of Nigeria, Automobiles Peugeot of France and Nigerian shareholders.
The plant was built at N8.5 million with an installed capacity for about 20,000 Peugeot cars annually.
In 2005, ASD Motors acquired the plant under the Federal Government’s privatization programme at the sum of $32m.
But in 2012, the plant came under the receivership of AMCON, a recovery agency of the Federal Government which has been managing it pending the time a new core investor would be found.
However, sources confirmed that a new core investor has paid N21bn to take over the management of the plant.
A senior official of the plant said, “The new investors are already around comparing notes. They are expected to take over by next month barring any change.”
Another source said many workers of the plant are very excited about the impending change of ownership in the company which they see as a positive development.
“The plant is still very viable and with new investors coming in, they are expected to pump in more money.
“We see this as a bold acquisition at this time of the COVID-19 and the economic uncertainty.”
When contacted yesterday on this, AMCON spokesman, Jude Nwazor said, “The process is ongoing.
“Once concluded, we will make it known.”
Meanwhile, an automotive expert and former Acting Managing Director of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Luqman Mamudu described the development as good news.
“The truth is that PAN Nigeria remains the most complex European built CKD (Complete Knocked Down) Automotive assembly plant with even Engine assembly platform in Nigeria.
“I am sure the new investors will put it to complete use and this will boost CKD operations in Nigeria.
“Most of the facilities currently installed in the industry are SKD (Semi Knocked Down) and it’s about time to move up above this level to deepen local content which is the overall objective of the NAIDP,” he said.