Saturday 25 May, 2019

NCB offer for Guardian extended for the third time

NCB Financial Group has announced a third extension of its closing date in respect to the offer and take-over bid for Guardian Holding Limited (GHL).

The offer to acquire up to 74,230,750 ordinary shares in GHL will remain open for acceptance until April 30, 2019 at 4 pm.

In a notice posted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, NCBFG said the tally carried out by Republic Securities Limited as at February 12, 2019, showed a total of 115,198,717 GHL shares deposited by GHL shareholders in response to the offer. The shares deposited, together with NCB Global Holdings Limited existing shareholding in GHL, represents approximately 80 per cent of the outstanding GHL Shares.

The financial institution, however, reasoned that the approvals required under the Foreign Investment Act, Insurance Act and Financial Institutions Act of Trinidad and Tobago remain outstanding and a decision has been made to extend the closing date in order to prevent the offer from lapsing before such approvals are obtained.

NCBFG said it also wants to allow the offeror - NCB Global Holdings Limited - time to seek greater certainty surrounding the “likely closing date of the offer” for tendering shareholders to efficiently organise the Group’s activities in the interim.

NCBFG first acquired a 29.99 per cent stake in Guardian in 2016 but now hopes to up its stake in the company to 62 per cent or 74.23 million ordinary shares at an enhanced price of US$2.79 per share.

The acquisition would place NCBFG as the regional banking powerhouse second only to CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank. However, the financial institution has had numerous setbacks with the takeover, as minority shareholders charged that NCBFG’s previous offers for the shares equated to a vulgar act of discrimination.

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