ErmiasWith an increasing number of legal suits being filed, homeowners are losing hope in revitalising the company.

Addis Ababa, EthiopiaGabby Investments Plc, a grade one contractor, has become the latest party to wage a court battle against the nearly-defunct Access Real Estate S.C. (ARE). It filed a suit at the Federal High Court on September 16, 2013, requesting 72.9 million Br in damages for unpaid work and business costs, along with interest. The case is yet to be assigned to a judge.

Gabby, which agreed, in 2011, to build eight condominium blocks for Access’s Megenagna Freedom (Nyala Motors) site, in Bole District, states in the suit that it did construction work worth 220 million Br, but only received 193.3 million Br in payment.

It is now petitioning for the balance owed along with a 10.5pc interest- calculated for 25 months- which amounts to 33.18 million Br. Gabby is also requesting 39.4 million Br for losses incurred in overhead costs, lost business opportunity and waste of input materials, as well as 220,000 Br for payments advanced to workers.

These liabilities come for ARE at a time when it does not even have enough money left in the bank to run its day to day activities, as the company’s most recent audit report by Kokeb & Moges revealed.

It is a company that has been unable to sustain its early successes after being founded in 2008 by five shareholders, with the now infamous Ermias T. Amelga, majority shareholder, board chairman and CEO, at the helm. Promising to deliver luxury homes and apartments at an affordable price, Access and its subsidiary real estate companies were able to mobilise close to a billion Birr (according to recent reports) after selling a little over 2,000 homes at 19 in-demand locations around the city. Read more