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Update: NCB makes US$174m bid for Guardian

Published:Friday | December 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Jamaica’s largest banking conglomerate, NCB Financial Group, has made a takeover bid for Guardian Holdings Limited, which would increase its stake in the Trinidadian company to 62 per cent.

The offer at US$2.35 per share is valued at US$174.44 million.

NCB Financial has made the offer through a NCB Global Holdings Limited. The bank already owns 29.99 per cent of Guardian, and NCB’s current offer would increase its holdings by 32 per cent, assuming its bid for the additional 74.23 million shares is fully subscribed.

The Guardian stock last traded at TT$16.55 per share on the Port of Spain exchange. The offer by NCB converts to just under TT$16, based on current exchange rates published by the Trinidad central bank.

NCB Financial closed the deal on its first investment in Guardian in May 2016 for J$28 billion through the private purchase of shares owned by the Lok Jack and Ahamad families and the International Finance Corporation. The current offer for an even bigger stake will cost it the equivalent of J$22 billion.

The offer remains open until January 12, 2018. The lead broker is Republic Securities Limited in Port of Spain.

The bid for Guardian aligns with NCB Financial’s strategy to build itself into a regional powerhouse. On December 1, NCB announced it would acquire 50.1 per cent control of Bermuda-based Clarien Group, owner of Clarien Bank.