In a statement sent to VerAngola, Condis Lda - the company that owns the Candando hypermarket network - revealed that in recent months it has faced, "like the other distribution companies present in the Angolan market, a number of challenges and difficulties, with direct impacts on the business, as a result of the country's economic degradation, and aggravated by the necessary containment measures imposed as a response to the covid-19 pandemic crisis".
The company also explains that, in addition to the impact that covid-19 has had on its accounts, the fact that "it can no longer count on the support of its shareholders, since by decision of the Luanda Provincial Court, and as a result of the preventive seizure, the shareholders' bank accounts are blocked, as well as access to dividends and funds that could serve to support Candando, and support its current operation, and obligations to companies supplying goods, rents, services and banking entities," has worsened Candando's finances.
"In addition, at the request of the PGR of Angola, the Portuguese authorities blocked the bank accounts of the companies of the Candando group in Portugal, which were used to open credit lines and payments with international suppliers. This has already forced the company to make several redundancies in Portugal, and also limits access to the purchase of import products that the Angolan market so badly needs", continues the note.
For these reasons, the Condis Lda group stresses that a revitalisation plan has already been presented and that they have already asked the Government for help, at the Ministry of Commerce, so that the doors of Candando remain open.
"In view of this situation, the company Condis Lda (...) has requested the support of the competent authorities in this regard and in the meantime has already had the the opportunity to present your situation to the Ministry of Trade", can be read in the document.
Removing the hypothesis that, for the time being, stores will be closed and employees fired, the company explains that the plan is based on three essential points: the first step will be to adjust the operation of Candando to "a new reality and its own set of constraints", forcing the business to rethink. The second step will be "to keep its hypermarkets and supermarkets open, and this will require the support of the competent authorities to guarantee access to credit lines for purchases from national suppliers, producers and for international purchases".
The third and final step concerns state support: "state support is therefore fundamental in accessing and granting credit lines with more accessible interest rates, possibly within the framework of the Prodesi programme and the support programmes for national companies based on Notice 10 and other measures, especially for Candando to promote, increase, and help in the purchase and marketing of national and rural products from the interior of the country".
"The company intends to honour and safeguard the interests of its partners and all those who have always supported this project, confident that with the support of the entities and the general public, an improvement will soon result, and these positive results will ensure the continuity of the stores and the maintenance of jobs", adds the company.
The Candando hypermarket chain opened its doors four years ago. It currently employs around two thousand people, with three hypermarkets and three supermarkets in operation.