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Controversy surrounds NCB's bid for Guardian Holdings

Controversy is brewing in Trinidad and Tobago over NCB Global Holdings bid for Guardian Holdings.
 
A report in the Trinidad Express newspaper says three shareholders are planning to challenge the acquisition following Friday's disclosure by NCB Chairman Michael Lee-Chin of  a secret lock-up agreement.
 
The secret agreement, whose release the shareholders, pressed Trinidad's Securities and Exchange Commission for, revealed that Guardian Holdings chairman, Arthur Lok Jack, and two other entities will receive US$344 million  for selling 51.82 per cent of  the insurer to NCB in two tranches.
 
The minority shareholders argue that the transaction failed to disclose the lock-up agreement in a timely fashion and  that they are being offered much less for their shares than Mr. Lok Jack and the two entities.
 
In May 2016, affiliates of  businessman Arthur Lok Jack, Imtiaz Ahamad and International Finance Corporation sold 29.99 percent of  their shares from Guardian Holdings to NCB Global Holdings.
 
A part of  the sale agreement was a lock-up provision by which both parties agreed to limit their rights to dispose of any Guardian Holdings shares until the expiry of  three years from May 2016.
 
The agreement required NCB to make a take-over bid within the following three years to gain a minimum of  62 per cent of  outstanding Guardian shares. 
                                                                  
Last December, NCB announced its intention to acquire a majority stake in Guardian. 
 
The advertisement said it would extend its closing date to February 2.


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