Despite the delay in Efacec's reprivatisation process and the difficulties the company is going through, the Minister for the Economy expects to decide the company's destiny still this year.
The Minister of Economy is confident that Efacec’s reprivatisation process will be concluded by the end of this year. Only DST remains in the running, at a time when the company is trying to get a new loan from the banks to ensure financing for the operation.
“The decision to reprivatise will still be taken by the end of the year. The state has no vocation for managing industrial companies,” Siza Vieira stressed to journalists.
The DST’s bid is currently being analysed by Parpública, which will then be responsible for making a recommendation to the Council of Ministers. “The indications that we gave are to evaluate if the bid is credible and has conditions to be selected,” explained Siza Vieira.
However, the delay in the process is forcing the company to “find some additional funding until the transaction is closed”. A transaction that may even be decided by the end of the year, but then it should still take about three months to complete the remaining procedural phases. But, “the sooner we resolve this the better,” the Minister of Economy acknowledges.
“If this deal does not go through, the company will have to remain in the hands of the state, which will not be the best way for it to operate, given the challenges it faces,” he added.
Besides the reprivatisation process, the company has been facing a growing wave of internal protests. The workers have already organised two strikes to demand the resignation of the current board led by Ângelo Ramalho.
The Minister of Economy recognises that “Efacec needs to provide new guarantees to sign new contracts”, and not to ensure cash flow. The current needs identified are around €45 million, in addition to the €70 million already contracted last year from a bank syndicate, for the same purpose. “Since the state entered Efacec, the volume of guarantees has been decreasing, because the contracts have been fulfilled,” Siza Vieira explained.