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Geralyn Edward

Power switch

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Thanks, but no thanks! The enticing $25.70 per share was not enough to lure 1 700 Barbadian shareholders to part with their shares in Barbados Light & Power Holdings (L&PH).
However, the defiant stand was not enough to stop Canadian company Emera from taking majority control of the country’s lone electricity supplier Barbados Light & Power.
Emera announced yesterday that when its takeover offer expired on Monday at 5 p.m., it had secured 79.9 per cent of the outstanding 17.14 million L&PH shares.
And come Monday, there will be several shareholders smiling all the way to the bank when the foreign company shells out $183.22 million to satisfy its obligations to those who decided to sell.
The National Insurance Board, which controlled 23 per cent of the power company, decided to cash in more than half of its investments, leaving it with just ten per cent holding in L&PH.
And according to chief executive officer of BL&P and the holding company L&PH, Peter Williams, the National Insurance’s ten per cent should still allow it a continued place on the board of directors of L&PH as a representive of minority shareholders.
Williams told the DAILY?NATION?yesterday that Emera’s president and chief executive officer Wayne Crawley was happy with the management and staff of BL&P and as a result he “did not anticipate any changes” at the company.
He noted too that Crawley was expected in Barbados next month for the first board meeting following the Emera acquisition.
Meanwhile, interim president of the Barbados Association of Corporate Shareholders, Doug Skeete, said people exercised their right to dispose of their assets as they saw fit, and so the ball was now in Emera’s court to indicate what would be its next step.
“In the offer document, Emera said it wanted 100 per cent of Light & Power, but it did not say what it would do if it did not get 100 per cent control,” Skeete noted.
The chartered accountant said he was also disappointed that Crawley was coming to Barbados after the fact, when shareholders wanted to hear from him before regarding his plans for BL&P.
In its statement, Emera said 7.12 million shares of LPH were deposited in response to its offer.
“This 41.43 per cent additional investment will make Emera the majority shareholder in LPH. The remaining shares of LPH are primarily held by 1 700 Barbadian shareholder accounts, including the National Insurance Board,” the statement added.  
L&PH is the parent company of BL&P which serves 120 000 customers

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