Mon | May 27, 2019

NCB lands one of three licences needed for Guardian takeover

Published:Monday | April 29, 2019 | 9:47 PMSteven Jackson

 

One of the three licences needed by NCB Financial for the takeover of Guardian Holdings Limited has been granted by Trinidad’s Finance Minister Colm Imbert under the Foreign Investment Act.

There were no updates on the other two licences, which are still pending.

“The Minister of Finance welcomes this direct foreign investment in our local financial services sector, especially by a company with Caribbean connections, and wishes all concerned all the best in their future endeavours,” said Imbert in a press release.

NCB Financial, which is executing the takeover of Guardian Holdings through NCB Global Holdings, said last week it needed three licences to close the acquisition of minority shares in Guardian.

The offer is due to close Tuesday, April 30, but there was no word from NCB as to whether that date would have to be extended.

NCB seeks to acquire an additional 74.23 million shares in GHL for US$207 million, which would double its stake to 62 per cent. Guardian is an insurance conglomerate with operations in 20 markets, including Jamaica.

Earlier in April, executives from NCB responded to Imbert’s concerns regarding payments for the shares being acquired by the Jamaican bank. The latest hurdle involved a US$45 million loan that NCB had negotiated with GHL key shareholders, Arthur Lok Jack and the Ahamad family, to part finance the share acquisitions.

The T&T Ministry of Finance argued however that all shareholders must receive cash for their GHL shares on settlement of the transaction. NCB has said it would comply.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com