Prime Minister Arthur Prefers A Neal And Massy Deal~Barbados Underground Say So

Barbados Shipping And Trading, Going, Going, Soon To Be Gone~The Advocate Newspaper Should Go Too

May 17th, 2007 · 5 Comments

Did I read the Advocate editorial of May 17, 2007 correctly. Just one day after bashing the Advocate newspaper, unapologetically so, we fan the pages this morning only to be confronted by an editorial laced with simplistic analysis. At BU we regard the fact that Barbados’s only conglomerate being gobbled-up by the more cash rich Trinidadian conglomerate, Neal & Massy as deserving of studious analysis. The Advocate editorial makes the obvious argument that market forces in any capitalist market will make decisions with the objective of creating shareholder value. At BU we say brilliant and profound!

Full BU Article

A meeting called by the Board of Directors of BS&T for shareholders to seal the deal with Neal & Massy this evening was canceled because an injunction filed by Jeffery Kinch, a BS&T shareholder was upheld. Mr.Kinch filed on the grounds that BS&T had not provided enough information to BS&T shareholders to make informed decisions. To BU the action seemed redundant because BS&T through its mouthpiece, Sir Allan had indicated it would offer an adjournment because of the recent developments, a counter bid by Ansa Mcal, another T&T conglomerate and a local interest have declared their interest in making offers.

The action by Kinch who obviously acted on behalf of others clearly demonstrate that there have acted out of caution in the event BS&T and Neal & Massy tried any devious move!

BU find it interesting that the Prime Minister held a meeting with Sir Allan and the other parties in on the the deal on the eve of the meeting which was canceled. Prime Minister Owen Arthur is about to lead a fourth term government in an upcoming elections soon to be announced, BU have no doubt that a Neal & Massy deal is preferred by Arthur__and you ask why? Elementary my dear Watson! Neal & Massy is not a competitor of BS&T in Barbados, the outcome is minimum job losses when rationalization comes down the road. Ansa MaCal currently compete with BS&T in Barbados on several fronts in the distribution sector, likely outcome, job losses in the near term. The other party of Brewer and Co have not put sufficient information in the public domain but according to Neal & Massy Chairman Arthur Lok Jack they have contacted him to express an alliance should they be successful in acquiring BS&T.

What is the position of Barbados Underground?

It is realistic to consider the offers of Neal & Massy and Ansa McaL because no information is available on the Brewer deal. If we examine on the basis of a public good, BU goes with Neal & Massy, if we select based on creating shareholder value, then Ansa Mcal is the better offer on the table so far. A BU source indicate that we should expect counter offers to come in the near future! It troubles BU that if a Trinidadian company controls BS&T when the dust is settled that it would mean that between CLICO, another T&T mega company and the new owners of BS&T they would own significant real estate on the little island. What this portends in the future, your guess is as good as ours.

Our original story was triggered by a lousy article penned by the Advocate editorial staff. The trivializing of this important transaction was in poor taste and disrespected Barbadians. The unraveling events to date should have shown Anthony Bryan, the owner of the Advocate, that his frivolous treatment of a serious issues was ignorance shown to be at its best. BU also gives a brick bat to the Board of BS&T who have prematurely appointed six directors to a company which is not yet a legal entity.

Buckle-up folks we think it will be a rough ride.

16 thoughts on “Prime Minister Arthur Prefers A Neal And Massy Deal~Barbados Underground Say So

  1. The advocate editorial isn’t only simplistic it is inaccurate. If the shareholder’s interest is paramount in any decision the corporation makes then why would the directors and the company they favour issue threats to said shareholders on the account of entertaining a counter offer made directly to them? That statement “in the interest of the shareholders” have been used every time the Directors of public companies are under scrutiny.

    ……….But i want to apply what is occuring with this situation into another one. In the last regrading exercise that saw Ministers of Government receiving hefty pay increases, the main argument in justification for the increases was to liken Ministers unto CEO’S of a business. You see it was in their interest to do so. This BS&T situation foretells what can and should happen to a government that continues to be unaccountable to the people who’s interest they should be serving. We the voting citizens are indeed shareholders in our country, time for us to step up to the plate much the same as Mr. Kinch has.

  2. David:
    Is it true that the one owner or major principal of Ansa McAl also has an interest in the Advocate?

  3. BU, it is like a breath of fresh air coming on here, after reading the filth meted out to women yesterday and today on BFP. I don’t know how others feel about it, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female, it would make you feel totally degraded and dirty. The devil has many disguises indeed. I will never visit BFP again as long as that perverted sicko is blogging there.

  4. Serious, I hope that your comments are just you exhaling, and not an attempt to highjack this blog site with foolishness.

    BFP is dealing with that issue, we do not want it started over here.

    No offense intended. I am just saying. You know!

  5. Warrior … my comments were just that – exhaling. I was feeling degraded and disgusted and coming on here to blow off steam made me feel better. Let us hope that nothing like that happens on here. I, for one, would not encourage it.

  6. How will Sagicor vote its shares? This appears to be a critical issue as the BS&T saga continues. The latest BS&T annual report shows Sagicor owning 10,990,566 BS&T shares, which is about 16% of the total shares. Since Neal & massy owns about 23% of the shares, the two control nearly 40% of BS&T. If they vote together they are likely to be difficult to beat.

  7. Perhaps someone can answer this question.
    Given the N&M financial track record and reputation for integrity and fair-play, and honesty in business dealings, what would the present shareholders of BS&T ‘lose’ from the merger with Neal & Massy? !Think!

    Would the security of the cashflow be comprimised? Would dividend payments suffer? Would this investment suffer? Are the businesses in Barbados going to not employ Barbadians? Will the Barbados BS&T businesses be shut down? If BS&T shareholders accept a cash offer from AnsaMcAl, what will they get but a depreciating asset (cash)? Are there a plethora of good investments in the market to then re-invest this cash? What shares would the BS&T shareholder then purchase – assuming there was an intent to hold BS&T shares in the first place – to hold shares of a certain risk profile, return, etc…!Think!

    The track record of the leaders of the Barbadian consortium should tell you something. What is their business? What kind of people are they? What is their reputation on the street? What is it that they are most experienced in? Is that aligned with the needs of the shareholders? Think! If these businessmen acquire BS&T, what do you think they will do with this most valuable of national treasures? !Think!

    This is not a time to be emotional; it is a time to think and invest wisely for the future and for your children. !Think!

  8. Patriot~there is simply not enough information in the public domain to expect shareholders to form a sensible opinion on this transaction. This is not your usual M&A. It must be seen against the T&T other holdings in the country and the extent Barbados is willing to dilute its identity. At BU we don’t subscribe to the principle of always extracting the highest economic value. The feedback on this transaction so far may just turn out to be the catylst the lazy ass Barbados Chamber of Commerce need to get their companies on track.

    At BU we expect more bomb shells on this BS&T transaction.

  9. Pingback: Senator Lynette Eastmond Please Shut-Up! « Barbados Underground

  10. Reading today’s Advocate on line,I notice a comment by one member of the group wishing to buy BS&T – say – that the assets of that group were not properly managed.

    It has loong been mooted in private white and black business circles that a lot of the white CEO and Chairman of BS&T were not capapble of handling the job – especialy after the departure of Douglas Lynch.

    Allan Field – the CEO/Chairman under whose watch this merger deal discussions would have started, certainly is not viewed as ‘a brilliant businessman’,despite the prime minister’s obvious confidence in him.

    From manager of Tropical Batteries for years,then Banks Breweries,then on to BS&T – there is no exceptional growth,innovative business practices displayed during this time.

    Yet the prime minister makes him the chairman of CBC,he is made a senator – ‘an independent one’ if you please – and of course a ‘SIR’ too.
    Remember he was also non resident ambassador to China.

    This connection between Allan Fields and Owen needs to be explored further,because I think it has nothing to do with ‘business expertise’,and more to to do with ‘similar mindset’ – and accomodating each other.

    Looking out for Number One.

  11. I don’t trust Allan Fields. These guys have their own agenda. What is his claim to fame? If BS&T is in this situation , Why appoint the same old hacks to run any new entity. It feels like if the rug has been pulled from under Barbadians, both black and white. Every damn thing getting sell to rich foriegners. This is what we work so hard for? So that now others scan come and reap the sweets?

  12. And CBC will be controlled by foreigners, just like the Nation/Starcom.

    Free the press!
    No TV license!

  13. I am more concerned as a citizen than anything else about this BS & T saga. Firstly because I have been fortunate enough to experience firsthand what happens to a business that is taken over and run by Trinidadians. Let me say that I was never affected directed by a take over but I have witnessed countless colleagues being belittled and screamed at and treated like second class citizens. Some of those in management positions were assigned differrent duties(essentially demoted with the same pay) while Trinidadians came in as replacements. It was quite clear that Trinidadians come to Barbados with an anti-Bajan attitude. Unfortunately many Bajans prefer to stay home and lime on the block if they can not find decent work that allows them to keep their dignity. I say all this to say that I hope that this transaction does not take plce for God’s sake, if not we are in for a very rough ride.

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