Business

Finsac to try selling Ciboney again

Sunday, July 22, 2018

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The Financial Secctor Adjustment Company (Finsac) Ltd, which is the majority shareholder of Ciboney Group Ltd, will make another attempt at selling its shares in the inactive company after failing to achieve a change of ownership within the first quarter of its financial year.

Ciboney, in a statement to shareholders on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, noted that Finsac's attempt in April 2018 to sell its 72 per cent shareholding in the company was aborted but the company has now renewed efforts to identify an investor for these shares.

Finsac first advertised its shareholding for sale in the media on April 8, inviting interested investors to submit offers on April 30 for its entire shareholding. Finsac will again run another advertisement shortly.

In April, Ciboney was informed by Finsac that it wishes to dispose of its interest in CBNY. The company controls approximately 72 per cent of Ciboney's shareholding through its subsidiaries Trumpton Ltd (41 per cent), Crown Eagle Life Insurance Company Ltd (25 per cent) and Eagle Merchant Bank of Jamaica Ltd (six per cent).

Ciboney and its subsidiaries were formerly investors in the Sandals Ocho Rios and Ciboney Hotels, but was heavily indebted to a number of financial institutions which were acquired by Finsac in the latter years of the 1990s.

Ciboney subsequently sold properties to pay off principal amounts owed to Finsac and in December sold the single primary assets the Group had remaining, Culloden Westmoreland, to pay off interest owed to Finsac. The sale of the Westmoreland property measuring 6.56 hectares or 16.2 acres was valued at US$2 million.

Following the sale, Ciboney's board of directors passed a resolution for capital distribution of 34 cents ($0.34) per stock unit be paid on March 9, 2018 to shareholders on record at the close of business on February 16, 2018.

Ciboney Group Ltd, although out of business, continues to be traded. Stocks of the company last traded at $0.10 per unit down from a high of $0.42 per unit in February.

According to the company's fourth quarter report as at May 2018, the Ciboney Group recognised $226.2 million from the sale of the property and paid $182 million in capital distribution. The company closed the year with cash and cash equivalents of $12.8 million. It had assets of $18.6 million and liabilities totalling $1.2 million.

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