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Financial News

Aug 2009 Financial News

BWIA shareholders told: No Caribbean Airlines stock trade-off

Aug 03, 2009

SHAREHOLDERS of the now defunct airline BWIA can take legal action if they want to, says Minister in the Ministry of Finance Mariano Browne.

The disgruntled shareholders who were offered an ex-gratia payment of 20 cents per share for their BWIA stock are to meet tomorrow at the Cascadia Hotel, St Ann's to discuss taking legal action against the State.

They are making a case for a better offer for their shares in the dissolved company, which was replaced by local carrier Caribbean Airlines in 2007.

Speaking to reporters after the opening of the ninth Annual Emancipation Support Committee's Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Symposium at the Hilton Trinidad yesterday, Browne said, "Anybody could take legal action, if they feel aggrieved."

He said Government took many factors into consideration when it made the payment offer to the shareholders.

Browne also said that based on statements made by the Government in 2004 it was evident that the State had always intended to deal with the minority shareholders and, "we consider our offer to be a good offer".

He added: "If shareholders consider themselves aggrieved, and they consider that there is an action or actionable rights, then they are free to take the matter to court."

When asked if there was any possibility of former BWIA shareholders receiving shares in Caribbean Airlines as a trade-off, Browne said "No" as Government's responsibilities in dealing with the shareholders was only with regard to BWIA, which he said was to an extent already "bankrupt" in 2004.

Source: Trinidad Express
Article by: Aretha Welch
Date published: Saturday, August 1st 2009