BHL controversy still brewing
The Guyana-based sister company of Banks Holdings Limited (BHL) says it is not to blame for BHL’s recent takeover by the Brazilian beer giant, AMBEV.
In fact, Banks DIH Limited (BDIH) suggests that if anyone is at fault, it is the BHL directorship.
A BHL circular issued on December 4 and signed by Chairman of the Board of Directors G. Anthony King stated that SLU, a subsidiary of the Brazilian firm AMBEV, had acquired 6,054,354 shares at $7.10 per share two days earlier, thereby increasing its shareholding to just over 50 per cent of the Barbados company’s stock, and making it the de facto controller.
However, BDIH published a notice in Guyana newspapers yesterday making clear that it sold SLU the 4,358,815 shares it held in BHL on the Barbados Stock Exchange on December 02, only after it had offered the same to BHL and the Barbados company turned down the offer.
Those shares equalled 6.7 per cent of BHL’s share capital, according to the Guyana company.
BDIH said in its published statement that a memorandum of understanding struck in 2005 when the two beer companies acquired shares in each other, required that they offer these shares to the sister company before selling to a third party.
“Accordingly, BDIH offered the first option to purchase its shares held in BHL to BHL. However the Board of Directors of BHL determined that it was not interested in re-purchasing shares held by BDIH in BHL, and had no objections to BDIH selling its shares to SLU Beverages,” the Guyana company stated in its public notice.
BDIH went on to state that contrary to a report in the Barbados media, its sale of shares in the Barbados beer company did not by itself give SLU majority shares.
“Accordingly, it is not accurate to state that the sale by BDIH ‘sealed the deal’ in terms of SLU acquiring majority ownership of BHL,” the Guyana company said.