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Coconut Industry Board ready to fight gov't over Seprod shares

Published:Wednesday | March 30, 2016 | 3:37 AM

The Coconut Industry Board is insisting its shares in Seprod are not owned by the state and is vowing to fight the Government’s attempts to sell them.

The Government has said it owns 163.42 million shares through the Coconut Industry Board, and plans to dispose of 122.5 million shares or 75 per cent of those holdings.

The shares to be sold are worth some $2.27 billion.

In announcing the planned divestment last week, the Government said it would transfer the proceeds of the sale to the Consolidated Fund.

However, Leonard Green, chairman of the Coconut Industry Board, said the board was willing to go to court to fight the divestment.

Green said the State had no right to request more than half of the Board's holdings in Seprod as the shares are owned by coconut farmers and not the Government of Jamaica.

Green said the Board’s operations would be severely affected if it gives the Government 75 per cent of its shares in Seprod.

If the sale goes through, the Coconut Industry Board's ownership in Seprod will fall from 31.65 per cent to 7.9 per cent.