NASSAU – The Bahamas government says it has approved a 100 per cent ownership of the Grand Bahama Power & Light Company Limited (GBPL), by Emera Caribbean Holdings Limited (ECHL).
ECHL, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Canadian-based Emera, is the parent company of Barbados Light & Power (BLPC), majority shareholder in Dominica Electricity Services Ltd. (DOMLEC), and an investor in St Lucia Electricity Services Ltd. (LUCELEC).
The cash value of the acquisition was not disclosed.
In a statement, the Bahamas government said it had taken note of the terms of the buyout of the minority shares held by Bahamians, pursuant to a proposal commenced over a year ago. The government said it was a transaction which in all respects exceeded the requirements of Bahamas Company Law.
“Further, the transaction was approved by a majority of the Bahamian shareholders, who voted at a meeting of shareholders on 8 November 2017,” it stated.
The Hubert Minnis administration said that one of the stipulations for the proposed transaction included a requirement that “the majority of the minority” of shareholders should support the proposed shares acquisition.
“This threshold was significantly exceeded with the support of 96 per cent of those who voted,” the statement noted.
It said while the policy of the government is, and remains, to encourage Bahamian ownership and participation in the domestic economy wherever possible, it was not found to be legally justifiable for the Bahamas government to intervene in the shareholding transactions between a private company and its shareholders, all of whom had the ability to seek independent counsel and advice.
“The government’s commitment to advancing Bahamian ownership and participation in the economy will, in the near future, be further expanded and deepened with the offering of shares to the Bahamian general public and institutional investors in ALIV (mobile telephone company) and subsequently in BTC (Bahamas Telecommunications Company).”
The government said this will help in the expansion of a shareholder society for more Bahamians. (CMC)