GuySuCo raked in $200M from ‘08 land sales

Three banks for Diamond branches
The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo] via the Privatisation Unit (PU)/NICIL raked in around $200M from eight property sales last year including three parcels for banks setting up branches at Diamond, East Bank Demerara.

A release yesterday from the PU on behalf of GuySuCo and the government said that three banks were among the buyers of land at Diamond, facing the public road and running south of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL). The transactions were as follows:
* 1 acre of land to Demerara Bank for construction of a new branch at
Diamond
* 1.5 acres of land to Republic Bank for construction of a new branch at
Diamond
* 1.115 acres of land to Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry for
construction of a new branch at Diamond.
Diamond has become a high-growth area as a result of the new housing scheme there.
In addition, 1 acre of land was sold to Guyoil for construction of a new service station at Diamond

The total proceeds from these transactions amount to $83,120,000 and were “based on negotiated sales tied to Government and external valuations.”

The PU said that sales were also transacted with the following:
* 1.02 acres of land at Lot 31 (a) Sea Spray, Leonora to Dr. Surendra Persaud;
* 0.96 acres of land at Lot 30 (a) Sea Spray, Leonora to Mohamed I.  Ally
Proceeds from these two transactions totalled $14,620,000.

Further, sales were concluded with several entities following previous tenders that did not result in acceptable prices.
* Land at Leonora (Block R) which is restricted to a value added wood processing operations, to South American Woods Inc. The PU said that at the time of the sale, all of the buildings had been razed by fire or were vandalized leaving only the land to be sold.
The land was sold at a price of $80M for 16.3 acres. The PU said that this resulted in an average price of $4.9M per acre.  The release said that this price compares favourably with the last tender price for this compound in October 2005 which was $40M. It also compares favourably with land valuations on the East Bank of Demerara.

* Land at Diamond was sold to NPI Communications Inc for construction and development of a modern call centre with planned accommodation for 300 seats at a price of $4.5M per acre for three acres.
The PU disclosed that these sale prices were determined based on the last valid bid price, valuations, comparable transactions and business development plans.

The total amount earned for the above two stated transactions was $93,500,000.
The PU also noted that between 2003 and 2008, total sale proceeds to GuySuCo for properties sold by the Privatisation Unit, was $851.6M. Notable sale transactions include:

* The former Diamond Senior Staff Compound  to DDL for the price of  $250M for land and buildings
* Land at Diamond sold to Guyana Beverages Inc. for around $100M based on a negotiated price of $5M per acre  and
* The sale of the former Camp Street location for $102M to CLICO.

The PU said that the transactions concluded last year resulted in proceeds to GuySuCo of $191,240,000 and shall lead to substantial investment and job creation. The PU said the sale transactions were approved by Cabinet.
It added that the transactions reflect Government’s increasing focus on sourcing proceeds for GuySuCo particularly at a time when the company needs financing.

GuySuCo has over the last few years been mobilizing funds from its own resources for the new Skeldon factory and other upgrades.

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