Ethiopia has seized cash from the account of Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) cross-listed Atlas Ltd over a tax dispute.
Atlas said the tax bill by the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) is from a claim against Ardan Risk & Support Services which it acquired three years ago.
Atlas, originally listed at the London Stock Exchange, has lost $2.4 million deposited by its subsidiary TEAP Glass PLC.
In an update sent to the NSE, Atlas said it had been advised in Addis Ababa that neither it nor TEAP has any tax liability under the Ethiopian law.
“The company has been advised by its local team in Addis Ababa that on May 10, 2016 ERCA summarily removed approximately $2.4 million from TEAP’s bank account with the Development Bank of Ethiopia,” the statement read.
in March, the firm inked a deal with Ethiopian Raya Brewery for supply of beer bottles which will be made at Atlas’ upcoming glass plant near Addis Ababa after raising $5 million (Sh501 million) in a private placement to finance the feasibility study and initial construction work for the glass plant.
According to a regulatory filing issued last month, Atlas said it made a net loss of Sh3.42 billion loss for the 18 months ended December 2015, largely blamed on costs of discontinued operations in Kenya.
It has promised to exert diplomatic and political pressure on Ethiopia to return the cash.