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Ensuring future growth and sustainability in challenging times

Like all stakeholders in the international oil and gas industry, ship repair company, Elgin Brown & Hamer (EBH) Namibia, the only operator of the two synchrolifts in Walvis Bay, has been closely tracking the sliding oil price since it dropped to below US$ 80 per barrel in late 2014
In anticipation of the ‘lag effect’ of the sustained low oil price on the downstream oil and gas industry, and a very evident reduction in vessel dry docking requests, EBH Namibia took a proactive stance in March 2015 by adopting a series of stringent performance improvement plans (PIPs).
For CEO, Hannes Uys, it was critical for the company, at that time, to examine its efficiencies in all areas of the business, reducing costs and making efficiency improvements in systems such as procurement. The plan, according to Uys, has yielded significant savings for EBH Namibia.
“When you are in a depressed economic cycle, as we are now, it is important to ‘scan and scale’ the entire business, interrogating ways in which to build efficiencies and review resources, while conducting due diligence, assessing reserves and tracking industry trends closely,” said Uys.
“While we started our formal PIP interventions in early 2015, continuous improvement is an ongoing strategy at EBH Namibia, as it feeds into our overall strategy to ensure future sustainability and growth in market share, and is part of our strategy as a responsible and invested corporate citizen of Namibia,” he added.
The proactive and cost-cutting steps taken notwithstanding, EBH Namibia, whose core focus is the downstream offshore supply vessel repair market, has recently experienced a 50% decline in docking activity.
The company first felt the ‘lag effect’ of the sustained drop in oil prices during November 2015, which was a few months later than initially anticipated.
“We first and foremost addressed the non-human resources (HR) aspects of the business as strategically and effectively as possible in 2015. However, we are now in a position where the sustained effect of the low oil price on production along the west coast of Africa, and in particular our core market, Angola, led to a 50% net loss in revenue, which in turn forced us to embark on a company-wide restructuring and stabilisation programme,” said Uys.
Although every effort has been made to ensure that the situation affects the least number of employees as possible, the situation has unfortunately necessitated the retrenchment of some full-time employees of EBH Namibia.
“It has been very difficult to generate positive cash flow in an industry that is going through one of its worst downturns in history,” said Uys.
“These are tough, but necessary measures which we are putting in place, in order to maintain and strengthen EBH Namibia’s competitiveness during a very challenging time in our industry.”
“I would like to assure all our stakeholders that the management of EBH Namibia will follow due process and comply with all legislative requirements,” he added.

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.