Tue | Jul 16, 2019

C&WJ owners to vote on reorganisation Nov 21

Published:Wednesday | October 31, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Telecom provider Cable & Wireless Jamaica, C&WJ, is making headway on its plans to reorganise the company under a new scheme of arrangement that it previously indicated was part of the plan to take the company private.

But holdouts to the buyout offer fear the scheme could pave the way for a squeeze-out of the remaining minority shareholders.

A vote on the scheme is scheduled for November 21, the results of which are to be reported to the Supreme Court by C&WJ chairman Mark Kerr-Jarrett or another nominee.

"They are trying to push me out," said one shareholder, who opted for anonymity to utilise other methods to address his concerns.

Senior members of the brokerage community reserved comment, while C&WJ and its parent company LiLAC, which is part of the Liberty Global group, have not responded to messages.

The scheme was initially referenced in the director's circular issued in January by the telecom during Liberty's buyback offer for 3.027 outstanding minority C&WJ shares, but did not go into details.

The company was delisted from the Jamaica Stock Exchange in April after the share purchase transaction executed through CWC Cala Holdings Limited had been finalised.

Prior to the offer, CWC Cala held 77 per cent of C&WJ, while its affiliated company Kelfenora held around five per cent. Subscriptions to the offer pushed their combined holdings from 82 per cent to 92 per cent.

In order to squeeze out minority shareholders, the top owner must hold over 90 per cent of a company, but it is unclear in the Companies Act whether that holding has to reside in a single entity. CWC Cala previously reserved comment on that question.

Liberty acquired Cable & Wireless Jamaica indirectly in 2016 when it bought Cable and Wireless Communications Plc.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com