“Jamaican group completes take-over of Trinidad insurance company”

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KINGSTON – The National Commercial Bank Financial Group (NCBFG) says it has “successfully completed” the acquisition acquire control of the Trinidad-based company, Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL).

NCBFG in a statement posted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, said together with its whole owned subsidiary, NCB Global Holdings Limited (NCBGH), it had acquired 72 230 750 ordinary shares in GHL following the granting of all necessary regulatory approvals. It said the acquisition had taken place earlier this week, but gave no details as to the price paid.

Late last month, Trinidad and Tobago Finance Minister, Colm Imbert, announced that it had has issued a licence to the Jamaican conglomerate to acquire control of GHL.

GHL is the parent company for an integrated financial services group known as Guardian Group, which is involved in life, health, property and casualty insurance, pensions and asset management throughout the Caribbean.

Imbert said that the licence had been issued under the Foreign Investment Act and allows for Jamaican conglomerate that held 69 547 241 shares, to acquire up to 74 230 750 shares in GHL, representing 61.99 per cent of the total issued and outstanding shares in the company.

“As we stated at the beginning of this journey, we believe that this transaction is a game-changer in the history of the region,” said NCBFG chairman, Michael Lee-Chin.

“Amidst the context of the de-risking impacting the region, we are proud and excited about the implications and prospects of two leading indigenous Caribbean institutions coming together to drive economic growth, customer and share-holder value,” he added.

GHL chief executive officer, Ravi Tewari, said that since the acquisition of the first block of shares in 2016, the Guard Group had started seeing opportunities for a very “positive impact for the shareholders, clients and employees of the Guardian group”.

“This further deepening of the relationship between two leading Caribbean countries augurs well for the acceleration of these positive impacts for Guardian and the region,” he added.

Meanwhile, NCBFG, Patrick Hylton, has been appointed chairman of GHL, replacing Trinidadian, Arthur Lok Jack, who has served as chairman over the past 15 years.

Hylton noted that as stand-alone regional leaders, NCB and GHL combined, have the opportunity to become a world-class financial service conglomerate, which ultimately has positive implications for shareholders, our region and its citizens. (CMC)