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Financial News

Jan 2008 Financial News

CLSS challenges Farms, Sagicor deal

Jan 07, 2008

THE LEGALITY of Sagicor Financial Corporation's "lock-up" agreements with major Barbados Farms Limited (BFL) shareholders has been challenged by its rival, CLSS Holdings Limited.

Sagicor announced Friday that it controlled 7.83 million BFL shares or 38.04 per cent of the company, now the target of a takeover battle between Sagicor and CLICO.

And the move by Sagicor, which has almost closed the doors on the CLICO Holdings subsidiary's chances of taking over BFL, has been criticised by CLSS president Terrance Thornhill.

In a statement released over the weekend, Thornhill urged the Barbados Securities Commission (BSC) to "investigate whether
or not the lock-up agreements with Sagicor were entered after December 7, 2007", and if it was consistent with the BSC's "principle and application of the Barbados Takeover Code".

The top CLICO official insisted that BFL shareholders had the right to withdraw from the lock-up agreements "when a competing bid is made by a third party which is more than 50 cents above the Sagicor offer".

Moreover, Thornhill questioned why BFL directors had declined to recommended the CLSS $5.55 all-cash offer despite the fact that
it was "in the value range that PwC [PricewaterhouseCoopers] considers to be fair from a financial point of view".

Meanwhile, CLSS continued to insist its offer was superior to Sagicor's mix of $5 cash and equity and urged BFL shareholders reject it.

BFL has 3000 shareholders, 2.6 million outstanding shares, and owns 4 100 acres of land. (GE)

The Nation News Barbados
January 7th, 2008