Nation e-Edition

Emera happy with response

Emera happy with response President and chief executive officer of Emera, Chris Huskilson, making a point while Peter Williams of Light & Power looks on. (Picture by Rawle Culbard.)

By Natasha Beckles | Thu, February 17, 2011 - 12:09 AM

EMERA INC, the Canadian company that sought to acquire full ownership of Light & Power Holdings, is pleased with the response of shareholders although some refused to sell their portion.

This is according to Emera’s president and chief executive officer Chris Huskilson, who fielded questions from the media during a Press conference at Island Inn Hotel yesterday.

 “We’ve been very pleased with the response that we saw as we made the offer to shareholders. We started out with a 38 per cent investment but we heard lots of people say to us ‘why wouldn’t you make the offer to other shareholders’ and so that was something we considered and then decided to do.

“National Insurance continues to be invested and it’s also very pleasing to us to see that 1 700 Barbados citizens are also still shareholders in the company,” he said, noting that it was “a very important thing” to have a public involvement in the company.

The Canadian company offered to purchase all issued and outstanding common shares in the parent company of Barbados Light & Power and was able to secure almost 80 per cent of the shares at a cash price of BB$25.70 per share.

In explaining Emera’s decision to make a cash offer to shareholders Huskilson said: “I do believe that at the time the best approach from an overall perspective was an injection of foreign currency into the country.”

The CEO also noted that the amount offered to shareholders was deemed to be fair as a result of a “tremendous market test” and the fact that it was an open offer.

“We had a very sophisticated investor in Leucadia (a former major shareholder in Light and Power Holdings) decide that the offer that we had made was a very competitive offer. We made the offer as an open offer and people could make their own decisions,” he said.

Meanwhile, managing director of BL&P, Peter Williams, said the partnership would allow the company to benefit from savings in certain areas that they would not be able to achieve alone.

Furthermore, he said, moving forward, they were looking to build “a holdings company with a Caribbean face which would be better for Barbados” and for other countries which choose to partner with the company.

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