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Elgin Brown & Hamer divests from Namibian drydock operator in surprise move

Elgin Brown & Hamer divests from Namibian drydock operator in surprise move

A change in shareholding in the Walvis Bay drydock operator which has long been suspected, was confirmed this week when Elgin Brown & Hamer  announced they have divested their shareholding in this key industrial facility.

The Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) remains the control shareholder while a new group styled as the Elgin Brown & Hamer Consortium has taken over the shareholding of the EBH parent, the DCD Group.

The DCD Group has relinquished its full share to the consortium, a group that was initially only described as “prominent Namibian business leaders.”

According to information submitted to the Economist, the consortium comprises Anton Pretorius, Duane Sanders, Tunacor Fishing represented by Antonio Marino, Step Oil & Gas from Brazil, and Leevi Hungamo.

“As a result, the 47,5% shareholding held by EBHC is now effectively in the hands of Namibian-owned companies. As of Monday 2 April 2018, the DCD Group relinquished all shareholding in EBHN,” EBH stated when announcing the conclusion of the transaction.

Since EBH Namibia was founded 12 years ago, it is estimated to have had a downstream impact of about N$8 billion.

EBH Namibia’s woes started when the price of crude tanked in 2015 affecting the revenues of the western Africa oil and gas sector. The company had to retrench a large part of its workforce in 2016 followed by more retrenchments in 2017 and the departure of the former Chief Executive, Hannes Uys. In the meantime, the company was nominally steered by an acting Chief Executive, Ms Heritha Nankole Muyoba.

During 2016 EBH experienced a collapse of its clientele, booking a 50% decline in dockings. This prompted the first round of restructuring. Despite several notable jobs in 2017, the ship repair company could not improve its balance sheet.

“Despite these measures, continuing economic pressures have required the company to further address its employment dispensation to ensure continued viability going forward,” Myoba stated earlier this year.

Commenting on their operations during 2017, EBH Namibia then stated: “While it is true that EBH Namibia carried out several key maritime that is, non-oil and gas projects ranging from fabrication and Special Periodic Survey work to major repairs (steelwork, pipework, docking and underwater repairs), it should be noted that revenue streams are not constant and that our profit margins and turnover are under enormous pressure in the ongoing effort to remain viable and cost-competitive for our clients.”

EBH said this week the joint management agreement with Namport will remain in place.



About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Brief CV of Daniel Steinmann. Born 24 February 1961, Johannesburg. Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA, BA(hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees are in Philosophy and Divinity. Editor of the Namibia Economist since 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 29 years. The Economist started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at It is the first Namibian newspaper to go fully digital. Daniel Steinmann is an authority on macro-economics having established a sound record of budget analysis, strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored hundreds of journalism students as interns and as young professional jourlists. He regularly helps economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. He is frequently consulted by NGOs and international analysts on local economic trends and developments. Send comments to

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


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.