Fri | Feb 15, 2019

NCB Financial offer for GHL extended to Valentine’s Day

Published:Tuesday | February 12, 2019 | 12:11 AM

NCB Financial Group has extended its offer for additional shares in Guardian Holding Limited, GHL, to Valentine’s Day.

The extension gives GHL shareholders an extra week to consider selling shares to NCB Financial, which is bidding for the shares through NCB Global Holdings Limited. GHL is a regional insurance provider with shares listed on the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange.

The Jamaican banking conglomerate aims to more than double its stake in GHL under the takeover bid.

“The offeror has elected to extend the closing date to the 14th of February 2019 at 4 p.m.,” said NCB in a notice obtained by the Financial Gleaner. It’s the second extension since last week, the first of which had moved the closing date for the offer from February 7 to February 11. All other offer terms of the offer remain unchanged, according to the notice from NCB Financial.

The bank did not respond to requests for comment on the rationale for the extension.

NCB Financial, which operates Jamaica’s largest bank, plans to spend up to US$207.1 million to acquire an additional 32 per cent of GHL at US$2.79 per share. The banking conglomerate already owns 29.99 per cent of Guardian but aims to increase its holdings to 62 per cent.

NCB initially launched a takeover offer for Guardian at the end of 2017, having acquired its initial holdings in the insurance conglomerate in May 2016 from major shareholders, including the Lok Jak and Ahamad families.

The initial offer of US$2.35 per share was allowed to lapse after some minority owners objected. NCB returned with an improved offer after a mediated agreement at the Trinidad & Tobago Securities Exchange Commission between the bank and GHL minority shareholders.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com