Business

Ciboney makes US$2 million sale

Ciboney Group sells Culloden for US$2M

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

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After two years sitting on the market, Finsac will finally recoup interest owed by Ciboney Group Limited following the sale of Culloden, Westmoreland, the single primary asset of the Group.

In a notice to shareholders of the Jamaica Stock Exchange last Friday, Ciboney advised that the land was sold to Green Forest Ltd for US$2 million on December 8, 2017 by Number Sixty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.

Ciboney Group Ltd and its subsidiaries were formerly investors in the Sandals Ocho Rios and Ciboney Hotels, according to the company's annual report. It was heavily indebted to a number of financial institutions which were acquired by Finsac in the latter years of the 1990s and subsequently sold properties to pay off principal amounts owed to Finsac. The Group had remaining as its single asset the Westmoreland property measuring 6.56 hectares or 16.2 acres.

Finsac has a 72-per cent stake in the inactive company and has been trying to exit the investment through the sale of its shares or its landholding. The beachfront property, located some two kilometres from the Sandals South Coast resort, was advertised by main shareholder Finsac for sale since the start of 2015 with the hope of recovering interest payment owed.

Still, other shareholders were hopeful that the property would be purchased and redeveloped for commercial use. It is not yet clear what are the development plans for the property by the new owner.

However, chairman of the Ciboney Group, Errol Campbell, noted that the directors have been holding discussions with professional advisors and the relevant authorities regarding the restructuring of the companies in the Group to achieve the realisation of assets.

Shareholders are expected to be informed as events develop.

Ciboney Group Ltd, although out of business, continues to be traded. Stocks of the company last traded at $0.41 per unit following a peak in November at $0.47 per unit. The trade amounted to 17.14 per cent of the market volume.

According to the company, 2017 annual report, the Ciboney Group has $53 million in current assets and $101 million in current liabilities, a net current liability of $48 million. It does not include the Culloden property which was last valued at $200 million to $215 million.

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