Barbadians continue to be concerned at the rapid rate of expansion of Trinidad ownership of our best companies under the guise of creating Pan-Caribbean companies to better compete against extra-regional companies.m Prime Minister Arthur we say don’t carried away by the assignment you have been given to lead the charge to implement CSME by your Caricom leaders, Prime Minister Ralph Gonzalves is lead for transportation and he does not seem to be too worried about the current high airfares.
Barbadians are not buying it!
Chairman of Neal & Massy Arthur Lockjack and Chairman of BS&T are beautifully captured in the Nation caricature for today
Source: Nation News
Fair enough, but I’m not sure I’d characterise BS&T as one of our best companies, even in the past tense. Biggest, yes. Best – highly doubtful. Insular and bureaucratic could be better labels. Had they actually taken on the big wide world outside Barbados and diversified, we could have seen the opposite result. Neal & Massy may find that they’ve overpaid for what is a bit of a turkey. If you want to look at serious Barbadian companies from a purely financial perspective, look to Goddard’s and ITC – both make a good chunk of their profits outside the island, both go up against global competitors where necessary and are based and staffed here. BS&T ? They should have seen it coming…
james~we disagree. BS&T along with CLICO now control a major chuck of real estate in Barbados. For example BS&T owns plantations, Pier Head land and many, many properties. If we use asset as the measure one must admit that BS&T is an asset rich company. It is one reason it has been able to sure profit in recent years because of “asset shedding”
I am by no means an economist or could ever in my dreams claim to be but…why did BS&T find it self here, eating crow i might add over Pine Hill Dairy. Why didn’t it as the leader of the opposition questioned, open its doors for more barbadians to invest in it if it was cash strapped?
We should also look at the other side of the coin here how many local companies are seeking to go into T&T and invest/buy/merge/takeover companies there? Why are we so passive here on the island, why? we are allowing another country to come and take take take and we sit and open every avaiable avenue and allow them too? When is our ‘good’ leaders going to see the error here or is some grease being applied that we know nothing about? Just a thought.
BS&T are very definitely asset rich for historical reasons but their assets are also very definitely underperforming. Cause is either complacency or poor management – possibly both. Shoring up financials through asset sales does not indicate a good long term investment strategy. It’s not that BS&T is a particularly bad company, it’s that they have been outperformed by other companies who have realised that as any large operation, it makes sense to spread risk and diversify outside Barbados where possible. This brings risks and rewards and if a company is properly managed, can bring excellent returns.
Government shouldn’t intervene in this sort of case in the same way that the governments of other islands have not intervened as Goddards have bought up a series of local entities, some very prominent, and Simpson has bought oil companies across the Caribbean and large car dealerships in the UK.
Bottom line, I think that this was avoidable and I’m not vastly impressed by the way that it’s been managed by BS&T. Happy to be corrected though since I’m looking at this from the outside – perhaps it’s all part of a wider plan that they’re keeping really, really, really secret from everyone ?
james~ your point is taken but the T&T invasion must be seen from the helicopter position. The reality is that there are too many T&T acquisitions occurring in Barbados. It must be studied and arrested given the implications for their control down the road on the economy.
Fair enough, and always a good idea to put some checks and balances in place to ensure that larger, wealthier neighbours (ones with a serious kidnapping problem for example) don’t buy up smaller states wholesale. Perhaps we can persuade Simpson to go on a shopping trip to Trinnidad…
why is it taking so long to announce the terms of the merger
because it’s not a merger, it’s an effective takeover, and the terms will invalidate much of the current attempt to spin the deal.
I see it from a different light. Do not blame the Trinidadians for goobling up Barbadian companies, the Trinidadians did not come to Barbados and put a gun to anyone’s head and demand their business. The businesses were offered to Trinidadians by their Barbadian owners. It is not insignificant that most of these businesses were owned by White Bajans. Many of these owners are now old or getting old and have little interest in the companies, but instead of offering them to their Black bajan workers and Managers so that they might purchase them they sell them to White or Indian Trinidadians in an attempt to keep real wealth out of the hands of Black bajans. I see this as an exercise in keeping Black Bajans poor and dependant on other races. Black Bajans built up these companies with their intelligence and sweat, but who cares? Black Bajans continue to be the largest group of consumers and that is all these people care about. Come and empty your pockets and my store! Even the Nation Corporation has sold out Black people. In my opinion this is only the beginning, brace youselves!
Sorry Carson, I completely disagree. In my limited experience of these things, it’s almost never about race and almost always about money which tends to be fairly colour blind. I might be getting my facts wrong here but didn’t the (mainly black) owners of the Nation sell to Trinidad in the same way as the (traditionally white) owners of BS&T ? Are they in league ? Did they shoot Kennedy ? I think not.
I still hold to my opinion.
BS&T is owned by shareholders which we know to be majority Barbadian, whether individual or company. At the end of the day I would hazzard a guess that the mix of shares is tilted in favour of the institutional investor,i.e. Banks, Brydens. Sagicor etc. Many of these companies will have to decide if the appreciation of the shares in the short term out weighs the risk by holding long term. A few individuals I have spoken to can’t wait to sell to benefit from the cash in pocket.
I think I agree that it is about the money.
Honestly Carson Cadogan must you constantly view life through a colour prism. As far as I know the Nation was made up mainly of black shareholders. I guess they sold out to Trinidad so “their black brothers” couldn’t get their hands on the business. And wait, hold on, I guess that the black management of Sagicor sold their BS&T shares because they did not want black Bajans to prosper. And all of the black shareholders in BS&T, who will undoubtedly vote for this deal, they also just want to see the thing run by white Trinidadians.
Get a sense of reality, man. Your racist rot thankfully does not hold sway anymore.
I make no apologies for supporting Black Bajans.
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Who is the Nation News cartoonist?