Mauritius: Africa Investco-01
Compensation, fair treatment, management systems
$3 million equity
The investment involves IFC’s acquisition of up to a 15 percent equity interest in a newly formed Africa-focused transport infrastructure development company (Baobab Investments Ltd), alongside three other global companies. Baobab Investments Ltd (the “Company”) was expected to become a premier infrastructure developer in Africa and was pursuing a select number of high-impact, large scale transport infrastructure projects in three to four African countries. The Company is based in Mauritius with a U.K. subsidiary in London. IFC extended up to $3 million equity investment to enable the financing of the Company’s activities and to provide equity for the Company’s projects, as required.
In March 2012, CAO received a complaint raising labor issues regarding unpaid salaries and expenses owed to employees of Baobab Investments. The complaint cites a specific case in which an employee’s salary and expenses have been unpaid since September 2010 and May 2011 respectively. The complainant alleges that other ex-employees are in a similar situation. In addition, the complainant expressed concerns with regard to lack of information from management and shareholders to the work force, and specifically as it relates to liquidation of the U.K. subsidiary. The complainant requested confidentiality.
When CAO commenced its assessment in April 2012, the complainant and IFC informed CAO that efforts to resolve the complaint issues were already underway. All relevant parties conveyed their preference for those efforts to continue with the hope of reaching a successful conclusion without CAO's assistance. CAO maintained regular communication with the complainant and IFC throughout the assessment period and, in July 2012, the complainant and IFC informed CAO that the matter was resolved. CAO independently confirmed the complainant’s satisfaction with the outcome.
CAO's combined Assessment-Conclusion report is available at the links below. CAO closed the case in September 2012.