Jordan Phosphates prepares for privatisation

16 July 2004
The Executive Privatisation Commission has formally signed a contract with a team led by HSBCto advise on the sale of a stake in Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC), following approval of the appointment by the World Bank, which is financing the work. The duration of the contract is 18 months.

Specialist US mining consultant Behre Dolbearis acting as technical adviser, Allen & Overyis acting as international legal adviser, Sharif al-Zo'obiwill perform the role of local legal adviser and Deloitte & Toucheis accounting and auditing adviser, with HSBC as financial adviser. Sources close to the transaction say that technically the mandate should take less than 18 months to complete, but that political obstacles may emerge during the restructuring and preparation for the sale. The company, which is owned 60 per cent by the government and 40 per cent by the private sector, is the largest state employer outside the armed forces.

JPMC is the world's sixth biggest phosphates producer and holds a monopoly over exploration, mining and marketing of the mineral in the kingdom (MEED 25:6:04).

HSBC also advised on the divestment of state-owned Jordan Investment Company's 26 per cent stake in Arab Potash Companyto Potash Corporation of Saskatchewanin late 2003 (MEED 17:10:03).

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