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Business News Fri, 29 Apr 2005

United Rail: Financer/shareholder is non-existent

April 28, GHP -- Below we present evidence that a 50% shareholder of UNITED RAIL (UK), the company holding talks with the government over the proposed restructuring of the country?s railway system - has ceased to exist.

The minister of Harbour and Railways, Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, once stated

??.the shareholding structure of the company was Trackbed Limited (UK), 50 per cent and Holdtrade Limited of UK, 50 per cent ?.?

Mr. J.K.A. Wiredu, the acting Executive Secretary of the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC)

?United Rail is the name for the consortium, which is made up of Trackbed, the financiers, Railroad Development Company and Holdtrade?. ?

In an interview with a local newspaper, the Chronicle, Mr. Martin Burrow, director of United Rail, also stated:

"...the shareholders of the company are Trackped, 50% and Holdtrade UK Limited, 50%"

There is no "Trackped" company in UK, so Chronicle might have mispelt the name.

The British Registry of companies has a record of only one registered company in the UK with the name ?Trackbed?. The full name of the company is TRACKBED CONSOLIDATION LIMITED. It was dissolved on 19 October 2004. The director of Trackbed until December 2001 was John Preston ? a railway clerk.

According to the minister, Trackbed is a holding company involved in the financing of large international projects, with emphasis on Africa. He said Trackbed had a large investment in mining, timber and agricultural interests in Africa and was, therefore, in a position to furnish United Rail with both the practical aspects and the expertise in running large operations.

CPCS Transcom, a consulting company that specialises in international ttransportation commercialization and privatization projects, helped the government of Ghana in the selection and short-listing of the companies (including United Rail) that applied for the privitization of Railways.



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