BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – The Trinidadian conglomerate, ANSA McAL, Wednesday increased its offer to shareholders for control of Barbados’ largest beverage company, Banks Holdings Limited (BHL).
In a statement, ANSA McAL, which is in a bidding war with Brazilian conglomerate, Ambev, for control of the company and its brewery, said that it is amending its offer to purchase 100 per cent of the issued common shares in BHL to BDS$7.20 (One BDS dollar =US$0.50 cents).
“This amended unconditional offer represents an increase of 20 cents over the last offer announced by ANSA Mc AL on November 19, 2015, and 10 cents over the current competitor’s offer. The offer is valid from December 2 2015,” ANCA McAL said, in a statement.
ANSA McAL president and chief executive officer of its Barbados operations, Nicholas Mouttet said, that the company was pleased with the response to the previous seven dollar offer, adding “we are looking forward to another positive response from the BHL shareholders to this new offer of $7.20.
“We are really looking forward to winning this bid for BHL. We have great respect for Banks as an iconic Caribbean brand and we are confident that with our understanding of the market for Caribbean beer and our distribution networks, we can take the company to higher levels of profitability as a premium brand in the ANSA Mc AL brewery portfolio. ANSA Mc AL also has considerable experience in soft drinks and we look forward to building those brands and the Pine Hill Dairy,” he added.
Last month, ANSA McAL said, it would appeal a ruling by Barbados High Court judge Justice Sir Marston Gibson to lift an injunction that blocked the sale of BHL.
“The company will be joined by several other BHL shareholders who intend to bring a class-action suit against BHL with a view to getting the ’10 Put Option’ clause removed from the BHL/SLU agreement,” Mouttet, said in a statement then.
The controversial exit clause outlined in the 2010 agreement has been a major bone of contention. ANSA and disgruntled shareholders argue that it gives SLU Beverages Limited, which is owned by the Brazilian conglomerate, Ambev, an unfair advantage in the bidding process.
The agreement stipulates that if any person or group becomes the direct or indirect ultimate owner of BHL shares, representing more than 25 per cent of the total voting power in the Barbadian company, then SLU has the ability to require BHL to repurchase, at BDS$10 per share, the 13.25 million common shares that were issued to SLU on conversion of the debt in 2010.