Rubis’ bid for BNTCL never stood a chance – attorney

Having won one legal battle in the fight against the sale of the state-owned Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL) to regional petroleum products giant Sol, the France-based international company Rubis is threatening all out war against the Freundel Stuart administration to prevent the deal from going through.

Rubis last Friday secured an interim injunction until April 3 – extended today to May 26 – stopping the proposed US$100 million sale, which it claims would create a monopoly.

The company’s attorney Leslie Haynes, QC, told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that his client, which has also filed a claim against the Barbados National Oil Company Limited challenging the fairness of the tendering process, had put Government on notice that Rubis intended to trigger the articles of a bilateral investment treaty between the United Kingdom and Barbados.

He contended that because Rubis West Indies Limited was incorporated in Britain, the treaty protects it from unfair practices.

“Rubis West Indies Limited was originally incorporated in England, so we have written to the Government telling them that there is a bilateral investment treaty existing between England and Barbados and we are saying
to them that we are going to invoke the bilateral treaty to go to arbitration,” Haynes said.

Barbados TODAY understands that this legal option could come at a hefty price to the Barbadian taxpayer, as legal costs could run into millions of dollars.

Haynes argued that Rubis was invited to bid for the oil terminal based on a four per cent increase in throughput fees. However, “Sol was awarded the contract on a basis
of a throughput fee being increased by 32 per cent”.

This suggested that Rubis would have submitted a bid for the BNTCL based on projected lower profitability margins, which would have impacted on its offer price for the state asset.

“We are saying that this is unfair. We were never given an opportunity to bid on the basis that the throughput fee would be increased by 32 per cent. The increased throughput fees equate to increased value of the company [BNTCL]. So that is why we are saying that the bidding process was unfair and not as transparent as persons would have us believe,” the Rubis attorney said.

While conceding that he was not privy to the bid submitted by Sol, Haynes stressed that information which has since been made public, offered sufficient insight into alleged discrepancies of the process.   

“We do not know what Sol bid, but we know that after the offers were submitted, the contract that was offered to Sol was not the contract that we were asked to send in an offer for,” he pointed out.

The Fair Trading Commission is currently probing the proposed agreement between Government and Sol with a view to determining whether or not the merger would be allowed.

Haynes said Rubis was willing to pay US$49 million for a 49 per cent stake in BNTCL, conceding control of the oil facility to Sol.

He was of the view that if the entity were jointly operated at the proposed 32 per cent increase in throughput fees, the returns would be good for the competing petroleum companies.

Rubis had last month offered Government US$50 million for a 50 per cent stake in the oil terminal.

15 Responses to Rubis’ bid for BNTCL never stood a chance – attorney

  1. jrsmith March 31, 2017 at 4:08 am

    As I always say the day cometh when it all back fires , which could costs our tax payers millions ,for who’s game plans one year on before the general election, who’s going to hold the baby
    Bajans welcome to the world of (PCC)

  2. BIG SKY March 31, 2017 at 6:35 am

    When de big boys fighting I does keep out.Yes, these are the fellows with the BMWs and Mercedes all I got is a bicycle.

  3. Donild Trimp March 31, 2017 at 9:01 am

    “the contract that was offered to Sol was not the contract that we were asked to send in an offer for,”

    That is a serious allegation.

    May I hint at some kind of underhand deal with some kind of kickback to some unknown person or entity.

    I am being careful here so once again, the operative words from me are “hint” and “unknown”.

    • Jennifer March 31, 2017 at 9:08 am

      @Donild – they all have to live. IF YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM JOIN THEM. wink wink

  4. North Point March 31, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Egg aint got no right at big rock dance, ah gone.

  5. Vad50 March 31, 2017 at 10:23 am

    The question should be who is encouraging RUBIS to continue with this fight. Sometimes, it just boggles the mind. You lost the contract, move on. Remember it is the Barbadian taxpayers that will have to pay you, not the government. Get over it. Take your losses and go.

  6. Alex Alleyne March 31, 2017 at 10:25 am

    The “Political elite” and the Business elite” don’t care about the “small-man/woman-in-the-street”. The main focus is all about $$$$$$$. As one Pastor said “I never see a U-haul truck loaded with items hitch to a hearse on its way to the cemetery”.

    • Jennifer March 31, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Alex – I cannot see why they should care!!!!! This would call for a conscience hun. And what do you think the Elites should do exactly?????? to show they care.

  7. Helidcopter(8P) March 31, 2017 at 11:31 am

    To the general public at large can someome explain if this terminal would be used for the purpose of refuelling ocean going ships and dual up as a distribution and storage facility. The grades of oil and petrolium products that will be bunkered are articles that must be considered in the final anasys.

  8. Gearbox1964 March 31, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I doan know what it will take for gov’t officials here in Barbados to get lock up…and some really want locking up.

  9. All Bajan Girl March 31, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    We just celebrated 50 years of independence from Britain. Yet we are allowing other foreigners to replace them and take over Barbados. Massy got the supermarkets, insurance, real estate and whatever else. Are we going to let the french have our BNTCL also? Soon these “hills and fields” will no longer be ours. All the Bajan entrepreneurs from upstairs Warrens SuperCentre were thrust out and what do we have there now? Cats and mice can runaround undisturbed. Down stairs are two sweet queen beds so if you get tired shopping you can have a rest. The Holetown SuperCentre had a lovely mall, a place to meet, fellowship, have a snack and shop. All those Bajan entrepreneurs have been thrust out. Where are they going to set up business now? What will replace them? Soon these “hills and fields” will not be ours. WAKE UP BAJANS, we are losing our country to new foreigners. Soon we will no longer be independent but ruled by these people. What right does the French have to complain about who gets a deal? GO TO FRANCE DO! DLP or BLP open your eyes. Barbados is disappearing under your noses. PLEASE PUT A STOP TO THIS NOW. BAJANS FIRST – NOW AND ALWAYS. PLEASE. PLEASE.

    • Jennifer March 31, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      Bajan Girl – sol is bajan. When you guys talking about bajans and foreigners you need to be specific. The evil dwells among us. Barbados is a melting pot with red herrings, bears, jackals, hyenas etc. Be specific and you will see they call themselves bajan too.

  10. b man March 31, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    the white man just to greedy always want want

    • Jennifer March 31, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      @b man – you need to elaborate a bit more.

  11. Jennifer March 31, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Imagine having a puppy. When it was small, you were suppose to cut its tail (Dock) to control it etc. Now its much larger you want it’s tail cut off. That is now a no no. There are two solutions – if you cut the tail like that it will maul you to death, trauma, psychological etc. The last and final solution would be to put that dog to sleep.


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