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Judges at the Federal High Court have ordered that a months-long legal battle between BGI Ethiopia and Purpose Black over a property deal is to end through mediation. The legal representatives of the two firms have reportedly agreed to reach a settlement outside of the courtroom.

The court has also lifted injunctions on more than one billion birr in accounts belonging to the brewer after BGI Ethiopia agreed to refund Purpose Black the one billion birr downpayment it had made for the former’s 30,000 square meter property in the heart of Addis Ababa.

“We’ve settled the dispute through court-annexed mediation,” reads a statement from BGI Ethiopia. “The court approved the agreement, terminated the case, and ordered the injunction to be lifted. Under the terms of the agreement, BGI refunded the earnest payment to Purpose Black.”

The legal wrangling began over a deal between the two companies involving BGI Ethiopia’s headquarters near the capital’s Mexico Square. Ten months ago, the brewer agreed to sell the sizeable property to Purpose Black for a reported five billion birr, excluding taxes. Purpose Black is a relatively new business initiated by Fisseha  Eshetu (PhD).

In March, the brewer announced it had terminated the agreement, alleging that Purpose Black had failed to service payment installations on time and accusing the company of deliberate attempts to prolong the sale process. Purpose Black had failed to make payments following the one billion birr it effected early on in the deal.

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BGI Ethiopia says it has returned the amount to Purpose Black, effectively ending the court saga nearly a year after the deal was first reached. The brewer is still looking for another buyer for its property, which it is abandoning in favor of new premises in Sebeta.

“The sale will continue. BGI will float a bid to find another buyer,” said Nega Miherete, legal and corporate affairs director at BGI Ethiopia.

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