A Barbados Underground Commenter Has Their Say On The BS&T Merger

Comment by demarlehole

“This is like deja vu all over again.” Yogi Berra!

Hello David,

I prefer to see this in different terms, hence my caption. How many of you remember Plantations Trading Co., Ltd. These two companies were always competitors. I worked for PTCL for almost two decades before moving to the US; back then I was a shareholder and rather than take a dividend would roll it over year after year for the purchase of additional shares even after coming here. They invested in CLICO, a then one door insurance company. Then CLICO moved into one of the buildings owned by PTCL, suddenly we heard the company was not doing well and CLICO made a bid to purchase the Company.

Some Board members were about to retire and had to have their “Golden Parachute”. You asked; What is it with BS&T wanting to sell their assets, if you checked their Annual Reports since 2002 to 2006 (I’ve got them all), see a ref copy of each; notice what they said in 2003 when they divested themselves of 50% of Neal & Messy’s shares. (Please note  BU attempted to link the mentioned websites but we were unsuccessful)

Something of note, that was the last year for Chairman David Bynoe and a “Golden Parachute” had to be provided; the end of this financial year is Sir. Alan Fields’ last year and another Parachute have to be provided. You asked about the two Director’s credentials (Taylor and King) have a look at the entire board and you would not find anyone with the kind of Project Development background which is required to undertake their next BIG project; “The Pierhead Development Project”.

I have included the latest Chairman’s report FYI. I think this is where Ansa McAl sees the value in BS&T, and offered $7.00 cash as a first offer; trust me, they are willing to pay $10.00. Their first offer will be turned down by the board and they are willing to make another offer in an attempt to embarrass the BS&T board. You see N&M is committed and Ansa McAl will have them pay a premium. Those bast**** have shown their playbook and Ansa McAl have studied it.

Someone should send each member of those two boards a copy of the movie, “Wall Street” starring Michael “Greed is good” Douglas, and make it required viewing. They have been played! The Consortium has got to know they are in over their heads and should take their profits and credit themselves for they effort and increased share value.

NB: Ansa McAl owns a company called Promenade Development which has the capacity to undertake that project without going outside the company.

BU: Sorry for the long post, I’ve said quite a bit for now and will let others weigh in. This is good stuff!!!

brewerandhoyos-ipo.jpgThe quote above was made by a BU commenter who is obviously situated on the inside track of corporate Barbados. BU agrees with the thrust of demarlehole’s perspective and feel it is important to highlight for the benefit of all our readers, who like us, seem to have become very passionate on the possible sale of BS&T to Trinidadian concerns. Reluctantly we agree with demarlehole’s view the local consortium which is fronted by Tony Hoyos and Colin Brewer maybe operating out of their weight class.

If we accept that the consortium who is attempting to play the role as spoiler will be unsuccessful then the only hope for BS&T remaining in local hands lies with the shareholders rejecting both the offers from Neal & Massy and Ansa McCal. The question to be asked therefore__is this is likely to happen? The Broad Street Journal published a story on 10 July 2007 which listed the 11 shareholders which own one third of BS&T shares.

Who are these shareholders? Well, apart from Neal & Massy itself, which owns just over 23% of BS&T’s 75 million outstanding shares, the largest shareholder is the Sagicor Group, which owns a total of 8.6 million shares, giving it 11.4% of the company. After Sagicor, all the other largest shareholders actually own less than 4% of BS&T. They include the NIS, which owns 2.8 million shares or 3.7% of the company; the BS&T Pension Fund, with 2.7 million shares or 3.6% of the company; Bourne Investments, with 2.6 million shares or 3.4%; the TT Unit Trust, with almost 2 million shares or 2.6%; First Caribbean Bank, which owns a total of almost 1.4 million shares, or 1.8%; RBTT Bank, which owns a total of 1.2 million shares, or 1.6%; Fortress Securities, with one million shares or 1.3%; Republic Bank, with just over half a million shares or about three quarters of one percent; Barbados National Bank, with close to 400,000 shares or just over half a percent, and Edna Leacock, with virtually the same number as BNB.

If history is any thing to go by the current shareholders will sell, especially if the bid reaches $10.00 as suggested by our BU reader demarlehole. On would imagine that the many institutional investors would cash-in on the capital gains to be made. People that follow T&T business would know that Ansa is must bigger and more aggressive than Neal & Massy__Sabga is no sweetbread!

Tomorrow should be interesting because Ansa’s formal offer will be known. Similar to the Mutual Assurance, is Barbados about to witness a transformation in the management fortunes of BS&T?

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18 thoughts on “A Barbados Underground Commenter Has Their Say On The BS&T Merger

  1. Since publishing this story we hear of the aggressive position behind the offer of $7.00 by Ansa.

    Published on: 7/17/07.


    TRINIDADIAN CORPORATE GIANT ANSA McAL has made it official – it wants Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T) and it has given shareholders five weeks to decide if $7 per share is good enough for them.

    Though the offer comes in below the $7.32 at which BS&T last traded on July 6, ANSA McAL described its offer as “fair value” for the shares.

    Full Article

  2. Be warned Barbados – Ansa Mcal is no people loving paternalistic corporation .

    Check out Ansa Mcal ‘s profile – check out who are their senior managerial staff – check out who are on their boards ie the directorship.

    Ansa MCal which is owned by the Sabgas – originally cloth merchants of syrian descent have shown by their actions that blacks/africans are not held in high esteem by them.

    Check this out :

    Ansa Mcal bought 2 radio stations in Trinidad that were up for sale – they gave one to the trini indians to operate as an indian formatted indian radio station – which pushes only the indian agenda.

    On that station persons of african descent are called jackasses (or the hindi word – gadajah),they are cut off if they say any thing supportive of the government led PNM party,the prime minister Mr Manning is called a clown,a jackass,threats are made against him and his other black ministers.

    Daily,yes I say daily,complaints are made against this station and the racist venom that pours out that station – yet sabga and his people let all this flourish.

    Guess what? you know the other radio station they acquired – well they didnot give that to the afro trinis – they called it ‘inspirational radio’ and play gospel and light music on it.

    Now note – afro tinis are of equal composition of the population as the indo trinis,yet the indian got a station and not the africans.

    Then we have the Guardian newspaper which was bought over by Ansa Mcal – the majority if not all of the top editorial staff are indians.

    The majority of the columnists (who are usually supporters of Basdseo Panday,and now Dookeran ‘s parties) -they are also indians – of course a few ‘negro’ columnists who are usually ‘pro indian’ or so ‘middle classed’ that they are ashamed to align themselves with their race – they are included as part of the window dressing.

    The Guardian openly misrepresents the facts in favour of panday or dookeran and against the PNM,they promote the indian in a very positive light and highlight for the most part – the very negative actions of the afro trinis – most of the journalists are of indian descent – in conclusion -that newspaper is recognised by most to push ‘ an indian agenda’.

    Do you know that already Ansa Mcal has brought in an indo trinidadian to run thier barbadian supermarket business ie Trimart?

    Now I know those who fear these kind of open discussions will howl with outrage – but guess what? I DON’T CARE – THE FACTS MUST BE KNOWN BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

    Bajans need to start thinking about what these influx of trini businesses will mean for barbados and race relations,and moreover for the effect on black bajans in this society.
    We ain’t see nuttin yet.

  3. demarlehole

    Would you not consider Paul Altman and Ralph Taylor, Directors on the Board of BS&T, as having more than working knowledge to spearhead the Pierhead Project?

  4. Enlightening thoughts anonymous. Ansa Mcal been running ads in Nation with their local companies top management. I have to ask myself if Barbados is 95% black. The only black Ive seen at upper management level is a Ricky Nurse. All the rest are white bajans and plenty of them. Barbados biggest hurdle is racism. BSand T and big business confirms that. The TnT takeovers makes our racism worse.

  5. UAET~racism is a fact of life which will be here until the world’s end!

    We cannot use race as a cop out in a world where national boundaries will come under increasing threat. Thealternative thinkers must come out with strident voices to help the leaders map a way forward for the country we love so much.

  6. Conflict of Interest ~ Would you not consider Paul Altman and Ralph Taylor, Directors on the Board of BS&T, as having more than working knowledge to spearhead the Pierhead Project?

    The short answer to that is: No! Clearly the BS&T board agrees with me. But, don’t let me stop there; that project no doubt requires “Overseas capital” investment in the multi-millions and the Board don’t see anyone amoung them as having that expertise. Are you saying to me the two persons mentioned, has the where-with-all to produce; I’ll let you now answer your question.

    Coincidently, as of this post, I have just read ANSA McAl has just released they offer, I hope you’ve noticed my earlier post is on point, and as much as the board would love to put this behind them; they can’t not until mid-August or later.

    Do you think the parties are only after Barbados’ distribution sector at this time? If you think so, I sincerely suggest to you. Think again!

  7. Agree with you kind of David. Please do not forget the UN report noted micro racism alive in Barbados. UN conclusions derived from data provided by gob. Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials tried to execute damage control. Do you recall the fiasco? Big business should reflect talent base of this country. It blatantly does not and there is a colour variable among the reasons. It appears that is the major sticking point because were meritocracy in use directorships would look and act different. Maybe then we could defend our national boundaries and not face lost of self esteem as is happening now.The race ‘cop out’ would disappear at least ouvertly.

  8. The industry regulator, Fair Trading Commission (FTC) recently made an announcement that they could not find any instance of interlocking directorship in Barbados. BU found the announcement amazing but that is a topic for another time. What the FTC needs to investigate is the number of small companies which large companies like BS&T create to bid for small and medium size projects. No wonder the environment in Barbados is there to feed these domestic monsters which we have created. We can cuss Sir Allan Fields but ultimately we have created the FTC which is not applying the rules laid out in the Fair Competition Act. Another toothless government entity.

    What did Barrow say? An army of occupation.
    The more things change the more they remain the same.

  9. As far as I am aware, quite a few of those persons that AnsaMcal has in their notices have been employed with Brydens or Stokes & Bynoe long before Ansa Mcal took over. What can also be confirmed is that there has been little change in personel at these same compaines since Ansa came along. I’m pretty sure that this would not be the case for BS&T since their management is the greatest weakness.

  10. Where have all the “Real” journalist gone?

    Hello David,

    There was a time when a young “Nation” and an experience “Barbados Advocate” would have had the likes of Al Gilkes, Harold Hoyte, Gordon Brooks, Tony Best and even recent day Roxanne Gibbs, Tim Slinger, in Trinidad and Tobago bumping into each other crisscrossing the country fighting for an exclusive on these two Trinidad “titans” at least to bring the people of Barbados some kind of balance.

    Who is Arthur Lok Jack (Chairman), Bernard S. Dulal-Whiteway (CEO), John P. Andrews, and Dr. Rolph Balgobin etc; all of Neal & Massy. ANSA McAl’s Board; A. Norman Sabga (Chairman & CEO), David B. Sabga (Deputy Chairman), Gerry Brooks (COO), Anthony N. Sabga (Chairman Emeritus), etc; beyond their respective websites.

    Don’t these corporations currently advertise in these now hapless tabloids, which claim to have a weekly “Business Journal”; or should that be “weakly”?

    In the opinon of most there is nothing hotter in Barbados at this time except the sum than this merger or hostile acquisition. This takeover aims to be the biggest event to happen in Barbados for some time, and possibly have some implications for the next General Elections whenever it comes; yet there are no real stories of the two companies. We seem to be depending on these companies themselves for exposure. Not good!

    Some history excerpts of note from their respective websites:

    Neal & Massy Group of Companies:

    A brief history in the 1980s :

    In the last years of the oil boom, in 1982, Neal and Massy Industries Limited opens the new car assembly plant which enhances the Company‚s
    ability to supply vehicles in volume and with unparalleled quality for the local and regional export markets.

    Restructuring in the 1990s:

    In 1995, Jesus Pazos is appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Neal and Massy Group. Under his leadership, a team of Neal & Massy Executives restructure the Group to meet the new requirements of a changed marketplace, retaining only those activities which have a viable future for the Group.

    From 1996 onwards, the Group undergoes a major re-structuring exercise which included the closing of unprofitable operations or companies and the selling off of assets which were no longer required in the Group. By the end of 1997, the Group remains with fifty companies. W. Sidney Knox retires after 44 years and is succeeded by Ken Gordon, Chairman and CEO of Caribbean Communications Network Limited. In 1998, the long standing and mutually beneficial alliance with the Angostura Group ends but a new relationship with Barbados Shipping and
    Trading Company Limited, the largest Group in Barbados, is finalised. In addition, a strategic relationship with the Guardian Holdings Group is

    At the threshold of a New Millennium in 1999, the recovery of the Group is complete and it is well poised to take advantage of the opportunities of the future. Neal & Massy invests TT$239M (US$38M) in new activities, and there is a new emphasis on the energy sector through a joint venture lease operatorship with Petrotrin.

    In 2000, Jesus Pazos retires as CEO, and Bernard Dulal Whiteway succeeds him. Also, Ken Gordon retires and is succeeded by Nazir Ahamad.

    ANSA McAl Group of Companies:

    1969 – Merger of Alstons & McEnearney Four take-over bids ended in the merger of Alstons Ltd. with Charles McEnearney and Co. Ltd, members of the worldwide Inch Cape Group. In 1972, the Group made its first entry into Barbados and acquired Stokes and Bynoe Ltd. In 1976, Charles McEnearney and Co. Ltd. acquired the minority shareholders of Alstons Ltd and established McEnearney Alstons Ltd.
    Anthony Norman Sabga came to Trinidad from Syria in 1930, and at the age of thirteen, worked in his father’s business. Being the visionary entrepreneur from an early age, he took his vision and in 1945 established Standard Distributors Ltd, which started as an agency and distributor business catering to the hardware, dry goods and foodstuffs trade. Soon, this successful company grew by leaps and bounds through astute joint venture agreements with Caribbean and UK partners in foodstuff manufacturing and retail appliance business. In 1964, the holding company Anthony N. Sabga Limited was formed and was actively engaged in land development and investment. One of the earliest developments was the construction of the residential up-market Regents Gardens and Regents Tower. Soon after, the hugely successful ANSA Industries Ltd was established in 1965 to manufacture household appliances throughout the Caribbean. It achieved such phenomenal success, that the company won the Prime Minister’s Export Trophy in 1968. Other companies were established with business operations in powdered milk packaging, high-grade furniture manufacturing (under the Bell Furniture label) and stationery products (Crown Industries).
    At age 63, Anthony N. Sabga purchased $30 million new stock units at par within the following three years, after two other major corporations had rejected this offer.

    On November 26, 1992, the McEnearney Alstons Group changed its name to ANSA McAL Group of Companies, in which ANSA is the majority stockholder.

    2006 – ANSA McAL Celebrates 125 years

    The ANSA McAL Group of Companies celebrates its 125th Anniversary of operations.
    Established in 1881 when George Alston founded the agri-trading company, today the ANSA McAL Group operates over 60 companies in eight commercial sectors across the Caribbean region and in the USA and with an asset base of over $3 billion.

  11. The Sabgas’ from Ansa have a rep which we are not sure about. In this day what businesses are finding is to realize the talent of the company trust has become an important ingredient., adequate capital and good execution is not what it is all about. On the question of where all the good journalists gone. Well the Harold Hoytes, David Elllis’s and others of that generation have become mortgage slaves. The have they children to send to universities etcetera and have obviously take a decision to “manage” they balance of their careers.

    Ansa means business they have launched a website to disseminate information on their offer to BS&T.

  12. David,
    Oh, David! Sorry you have taken me literally. I do know that those early “investigative” like journalist of that generation have gone out to pasture; that’s why I was speaking to the “young guns”, who should be going after the story to make news, rather than let the news come to them.
    All we know about the Sabgas’and ANSA McAl’s and Neal & Massy’s directors for that matter is what we heard. What about going to Trinidad & Tobago to their offices, sit down, ask the hard questions, talk to the employees, request total access.
    I’m sure they too want to put certain rumors to rest.

    demarlehole~yes we did misunderstand! The early investigative journalists were of a time when journalism was treated as a respected profession. In fact in a recent conversation with a senior editor at leading media house he made the point that the young ones are not interested in being journalist, its just a job!

  13. Hoyos and Brewer Do they think they have Cow Williams money they are out of their domain…They couldn’t even come up with les the one percent plus Hoyos Sold BNB to Trinidad and also ICBL TO BERMUDA they are shady wolves in Sheeps cloth BEWARE
    I FEEL that Tony Hoyos has suddenly had a memory lapse for he was on the board that did a merger with the TRINIDAD BANK THAT bought out BNB. Now BNB has the lowest interest rates and YES BNB IS owned by a Trinidad company…I repeat Trinidad owns BNB and it is public knowledge Tony Hoyos was involved in that merger.

    It is not uncommon for companies from other countries to have interests in such countries as America and even The EU countries. This is free enterprise and could put Barbados on the map. Neal and Massey could export Barbados’ products, helping the GDP.

    With Neal and Masey you have to think long term investments and they are located throughout the Caribbean.

    Why is he against a Trinidad company for B S &T when he helped and was partly responsible for a merger with a bank from Trinidad that now owns Barbados National Bank. He was on the board. Which was a great move EXCELLENT BRAVO..Why does he not think that BS&T doing the same thing could be just as profitable..?

    A merger would bring Barbados more capital and open them up into other island and maybe even into the USA as in exporting especially Banks beer. Mount Gay is making a a great name for themselves in the North American market USA and instead of importing more, Barbados could export more. Which makes Barbados depend less on imports but puts them on the map as strong country with great products to export, not just an island you come for fun and Sun….

    I think that also Hoyos should remember that he also was part of the group that sold ICBL ( Insurance corporation Barbados Limited to a Bermuda company when a Barbados company wanted to buy but didn’t have enough capital. Bermuda offered a better lucrative deal and as a group Hoyos helped to sell ICBL to a foreign conglomerate

    You have to look at the big picture as share holders and keep all options open.

    Why the sudden change of heart? I feel there is no need to insult the wonderful job the present board of BS & T is doing.

    Keep all options open!

    • The demise of BS&T was predicted. The closing down of the lumber yard is the tip of the iceberg. We see OMC sending home employees earlier in the year despite making good profit. The cost base in T&T will make it interesting in the coming weeks how satellite interest in these pan-Caribbean companies controlled from T&T are managed. Our bet is that more Bajans will be hitting the breadline.

  14. If the old pioneers of BS&T could rise from thedead, they would drop die again. People like old Manning, Challenor and Tom Mckenzie among others, would be very disappointed in their successors for allowing the company to deteriorate to this. Years were when Manning, Wilkenson and Challenor were the biggest supplier of lumber and other building materials. Now that BS&T has gone out of the lumber and hardware business, the signs are there that they are going the road of Plantations Ltd. Signs of the times, with T&T taking over the businesses, chinese taking over the construction industry and guyanese taking over anything that they can get themselves into, what is left for bajans?
    Wake up bajans, can’t you see that our country is being taken over while we sit here and argue over stupid partisan politics? It is time the DLP, BLP and any other P, come together in national unity and stop this invasion before it is too late. We were the envy of the whole caribbean for too long and others think it’s time they share in or take away what we’ve developed over many years of hard work.

  15. Over the years, we have had politicians that have placed country first, today our new breed of politicians seem to put power up front and are willing to pull down the ruling party just to be at the helm. Because of this, others are seeing the crack in the armour and are doing everything possible to widen it. Funny thing is, when the opposition makes this country ungovernable and cause the downfall of the ruling party, they too will be faced with similar problems. The day Barbados starts to go under, we’re going to fall HARD and LONG. Like ticks in a dog, all these parasites who are now sucking this country dry, will return to their countries or to another country and leave us here to die a painful death. If this is what we want we can wallow in it now while it last.

  16. The official meaning for BS&T is Barbados Shipping and Trading. The true meaning for BS&T is Bull Shit and Talk

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