Muscat port operator endorses liquidation call

Conrad Prabhu –
Dec 8: In a dramatic development, Port Services Corporation (PSC) — which operates and manages Mina Sultan Qaboos in Muscat — unanimously adopted a decision to liquidate the corporation at the end of its current concession which expires on December 31, 2016.
The move, which was endorsed at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the corporation’s shareholders on Wednesday, is expected to pave the way for the port’s formal takeover by Omran — the wholly government-owned tourism development and investment vehicle — as the operator of the gateway.
This is in keeping with Omran’s mandate as the master-developer of the Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront project, which encompasses the current port and some adjoining areas.
In a filing to the Capital Market Authority (CMA) yesterday, PSC’s Company Secretary said shareholders representing 72.94 per cent of PSC’s equity shares, attended the EGM and unanimously resolved to liquidate the corporation with effect from January 1, 2017.
Additionally, the meeting agreed to appoint accounting and advisory firm Moore Stephens as liquidators.
“The 2nd EGM clearly authorised the liquidators to conclude any settlement with the Corporation’s creditors, and to accept arbitration on the Corporation’s behalf, and to waive any insurance or any other kind of security for less than its full value. The EGM also authorised the liquidators to sell all the Corporation’s assets and projects, and to transfer them,” the Company Secretary stated.
With Wednesday’s decision, PSC makes good on its ultimatum to seek the liquidation of the corporation, having failed to secure an extension of concession agreement with the Ministry of Transport and Communications on its terms.
It follows an earlier decision by PSC’s Board of Directors to convene an EGM to ratify its resolution in support of a liquidation on the ground that the concession terms offered by the government were not viable.
The decision, the Board had declared, was motivated by concerns “that the (proposed) renewal of the Concession Agreement to operate and manage Port Sultan Qaboos for one more year (2017) will not be economically viable and will not generate adequate returns to the shareholders based on the revised scope and conditions offered by the Ministry of Transport and Communications vide their letter dated August 31, 2016.”