Thu | Apr 9, 2020

NCB completes takeover of Guardian Holdings

Published:Monday | May 13, 2019 | 9:58 PM


Jamaica’s largest banking conglomerate NCB Financial Group has finalised the acquisition of an additional 74.23 million shares in Guardian Holdings Limited, which doubles its ownership of the regional insurance group to 62 per cent at a cost of US$207 million ($28 billion).

The deal was finalised with the payment for the shares today, May 13. NCB also said it had all the necessary regulatory approvals in hand from Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, where Guardian is based.

“As we stated at the beginning of this journey, we believe this transaction is a game changer in the history of the region,” said NCB Financial Chairman Michael Lee-Chin in a press release.

“Amidst the context of the de-risking impacting the region, we are proud and excited about the implications and prospects of two leading indigenous Caribbean institutions coming together to drive economic growth, customer and shareholder value,” he said.

NCB first acquired 29.99 per cent of Guardian in 2016 for $27 billion. Its offer for the additional 32 per cent was first made at the end of 2017, but faced several delays due to a dispute with minority shareholders of the initial offer price, which NCB later increased, and latterly regulatory concerns over a loan that NCB negotiated with key minority owners of Guardian to part fund the takeover.

NCB also conceded to regulators on the point and agreed to pay all shareholders in cash.