Unease over sale
The sale of the Barbados Hilton is creating some panic at the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) over the possible loss of the $10 million it has invested in the entity.
But more significant than that, Government is seeking to sell the profitable hotel for nearly $100 million less than it is worth without going through the recommended procedures for such sales, and without making adequate provision for shareholders, as well as severance for the hotel’s staff.
In a paper prepared for the National Insurance Board (NIB) on the sale of the Needham’s Point, St Michael facility, a copy of which was seen by the DAILY NATION, it noted that though a minority shareholder with equity investment of $10 million, the NIS’ rights were not acknowledged and “like everyone else, heard of the pending sale via the [May 30] Budget Speech and the media”. There was no official correspondence or discussion with the minority shareholders of the sale”.
The paper noted that apart from this $10 million in common equity shares, the NIB was also a bondholder, having purchased a $17.3 million “bullet bond” which was arranged by Royal Fidelity. Here again, no correspondence was received on the repayment of these bonds. (SP)
Please read the full story in today’s Daily Nation, or in the eNATION edition.