Portugal grabs assets of Isabel Dos Santos
Government seizes stake in engineering firm Efacec Power Solutions from Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos
Lisbon — The Portuguese government took control of a stake held by Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos in Efacec Power Solutions as it tries to help the manufacturer find a new shareholder.
The 72% stake in Efacec was held through Malta-based firm Winterfell 2, which is indirectly controlled by Dos Santos, economy minister Pedro Siza Vieira said in Lisbon on Thursday after a cabinet meeting. The government will immediately start a plan to sell the stake and there are already proposals from various companies, he said.
An “impasse” in Efacec’s shareholder structure has led the producer of electrical equipment including transformers to face some difficulties with clients, suppliers and creditors, and some orders have been cancelled in the past few weeks, according to Siza Vieira. Efacec has annual sales of about €400m, the minister said.
Efacec said in January that Dos Santos, a daughter of a former Angolan president, planned to sell her majority stake in the company.
In December, an Angolan court froze some assets of Dos Santos, as well as those of her husband and one of her executives, after prosecutors alleged they engaged in deals with state-owned companies that led to the Angolan government incurring losses. In February, Portuguese prosecutors froze her bank accounts in the country. Dos Santos has previously denied any wrongdoing.
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