Colgate Palmolive’s Nepal chief handed over to police

November 20th, 2008 - 10:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Nov 20 (IANS) There was massive upheaval at the factory of Colgate Palmolive India Ltd’s subsidiary in Nepal Thursday with the company announcing the sale of Colgate Palmolive (Nepal) Pvt Ltd after 20 years of operations to Nepali company Everest Hygiene Products Pvt Ltd Nepal.Angry workers seized the subsidiary’s general manager Ramesh Singh Rathore, as he was preparing to leave for Kathmandu from Simra town in south Nepal, and handed him over to police, alleging that the subsidiary authorities had not informed them of the sale, leading television station Kantipur said.

Neither the police nor Colgate Palmolive (Nepal) officials were immediately available for comment.

Established in June 1988, the subsidiary passed through a sticky phase during the 10-year Maoist insurgency due to frequent disruptions and blockades.

In 2005, after the subsidiary announced it was discontinuing the production of toothpaste at its Hetauda factory, it was on the cards that the MNC would finally move out of Nepal.

On Thursday, Colgate Palmolive India Ltd said it was divesting its shareholding Colgate Palmolive (Nepal) Pvt. Ltd to Everest Hygiene Products Pvt. Ltd Nepal, with whom it signed a contract to continue to source toothpowder from the Hetauda factory.

The sale announcement also said that all employees of the Nepal subsidiary would continue their employment on the existing terms and conditions.

However, the announcement failed to allay the fears of the work force.

The incident comes at a time Nepal’s Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav has admitted that foreign investors were shying away from fresh investment in Nepal due to the lack of security.

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