THE newly revived Commodities Export and Marketing Authority (CEMA) is to buy Hammock Beach – a popular beach front property west of Honiara – for $7 million, CEMA has confirmed.
A down payment of $1 million has been made to local firm, Hatanga Ltd. According to CEMA, the land on which Hammock Beach is located “is registered under Hatanga Ltd (HL).
Company Haus however has no record of such registration, Solomon Star has established.
The sale could backfire, according to an individual who has connection with the local landowners.
“The local landowners are certain to be up in arms once the details of the sale are made known,” the individual said.
In a way the multi-million-dollar sale was forced on CEMA – one of the major beneficiaries of the Government’s stimulus package scheme.
“CEMA leases three (3) warehouses at Point Cruz owned by Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) (which) has not given green light to renew the leases with CEMA.
“CEMA copra and cocoa from Provincial Buying Centers will have to be stored in Honiara for export and marketing purposes. Large volumes of copra and cocoa will soon be shipped from the Provinces especially Russell Islands,” it said.
“CEMA entered into a Purchase Agreement with Hatanga Ltd (HL) for $7m and secured land with initial deposit of $1 million. Hatanga Ltd has six (6) months to give vacant possession and then CEMA will pay the balance,” according to CEMA.
It is understood the CEMA Board may not have approved the acquisition and the purchase could create tension between it and the Management.
However, the Management said, “The Board is aware of the above steps taken by CEMA Management in its implementation of the revitalization and recapitalization exercise.”
It is understood the Management took the decision to buy Hammock Beach – a popular joint for weekend beach goers – when Board Members were attending the launch of the Makira/Ulawa CEMA Buying Centre about two weeks ago.
Solomon Port has confirmed CEMA is leasing its warehouses at Point Cruz under a deal which runs out in 2024.
Solomon Port advised CEMA some time ago to find a temporary storage sheds while SIPA’s warehouses at the Point Cruz area undergo refurbishment. CEMA’s lease on the warehouses expires in 2024, a spokesman said.
Company Haus yesterday confirmed it had no record of Hammock Beach being registered under Hatanga Ltd as the business owner. It is a statutory requirement that all businesses register with Company Haus.
No, there is no record here,” Company Haus said.
In the case of property sales, parties are required by law to sign a Sales and Purchase Agreement, which must be registered with the Inland Revenue Division for purposes of calculating stamp duties. It is not clear whether this has been done.
By Alfred Sasako