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HEPCO Privatization: Once Bitten, Twice Bitten, Thrice?

Business & Markets Desk
HEPCO’s second primary shareholder in less than a decade quit after months of worker strikes and inactivity in the factory, leaving the firm in limbo
HEPCO Privatization: Once Bitten, Twice Bitten, Thrice?HEPCO Privatization: Once Bitten, Twice Bitten, Thrice?

This is the story of Iran’s largest producer of mineral machinery, Heavy Equipment Production Company (HEPCO), who weathered two privatizations, two financial collapses and is now going through its second return to the government.
HEPCO once used to command respect, not only in Iran but also in the Middle East. It was the main supplier of armored road machinery for Iranian forces in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, had one of the largest workforce of specialized engineers in post-revolution Iran and singlehandedly met the market demand.
But now its second primary shareholder in less than a decade has quit after months of worker strikes and inactivity in the factory, leaving the firm in limbo.
The path ahead is still unknown for HEPCO. Legally speaking, the company should go to the previous owner, in view of the current one’s withdrawal. But the previous owner, under whose lead HEPCO withered, seems unenthusiastic to take the helm again, and so are the government officials in charge of the share transfer.

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