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Lasco Distributors shareholders to get small piece of drug settlement

Published:Friday | April 29, 2016 | 4:00 AMSteven Jackson
Lascelles Chin, Chairman of Lasco Distributors Limited.

Shareholders of Lasco Distributors Limited will receive a small cut of the "large" settlement expected from its legal case with Pzifer, according to Chairman Lascelles Chin.

Chin is not saying how big a payout Lasco expects from the international pharmaceutical company - the damages are to be assessed by the court - only that he will reinvest the bulk of that money, with the remainder to be issued as dividends.

"I am the one who is going to make that decision; you just have to trust me," he said at a forum last week.

"Its going to be a large amount, but not a large percentage. I do not even want to call a figure," he said in response to the final query of the night from analyst Leon Franscique at the Mayberry Investors Forum.

Chin said the already fast-growing company will become emboldened by the settlement.

"I am tempted to tell you, but one thing is that a lot will be done and it will also be invested, and we are going to earn a lot of money," said the chairman.

"The shares of Lasco Distributors, by our own blood, sweat and tears, are going to rise phenomenally. This is going to double. There is so much in there that you will be satisfied with what I do," said Chin.

Lasco Distributors Limited has claimed that it suffered US$300 million in damages when it was barred by a court order from distributing the drug Amlodipine (Norvase) which is used to treat high blood pressure.

In December, Lasco outlined its claim in the Supreme Court to recover the money from Pfizer, which had obtained the restraining court order against Lasco and Medimpex Jamaica Limited, barring their distribution of the drug. Medimpex is also claiming a sum for its losses.

From 2005 to 2012, the injunction remained in effect until the United Kingdom Privy Council upheld rulings by the local courts which favoured Lasco and Medimpex.

The parties had been in court since 2002 when Pfizer claimed that the companies were infringing on its patent.

The assessment of damages was set for January 18 to 22, but Justice Lindo set the hearing for five days commencing July 16 to give the parties sufficient time to comply with the court orders.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com