GOVERNMENT TO SELL ITS REMAINING SHARES IN ANGLEC

anguillian
By anguillian May 2, 2017 10:39

 

 

fpThe Government of Anguilla is hoping to collect 26 million EC dollars from the sale of its 40 percent share in ANGLEC. This follows the pronouncement by Government of its intention to sell some of its remaining shares, in the Electricity Company, to the public.

Members of the Share Issue Working Group – Mr Claudel Romney, BDO, Corporate Adviser to the Government of Anguilla; Dr Aidan Harrigan, Permanent Secretary Finance and Mr Larry Franklin, Permanent Secretary Economic Development – were guests on the Government’s radio station – Radio Anguilla – with host Keithstone Greaves on Tuesday, speaking about the process.

“Government is seeking to raise around 26 million EC dollars gross from the sale of its shares in ANGLEC to help Government meet its financial obligations. This would have been also highlighted by the UK Minister for the Overseas Territories in her response for her approval of the 2017 budget; and basically what Government is going to do, is to establish a sinking fund to help to repay its debts that have accumulated over the years,” Dr Harrigan stated.
“The 26 million that Government is looking to raise, however that shakes out, Anguillian ownership would still be at least 51% of the company. So, however it goes, the Company ANGLEC would remain Anguillian-owned in terms of the majority of the share ownership,” he confirmed.

Dr Harrigan said Government was willing to open up the shares sale to regional investors, individuals and entities.

When asked what would be the impact if Government was unable to raise the amount needed, Dr Harrigan responded: “We are hoping this is not the case, so it will depend on the marketing – the fact that Government is prepared to open it up to the region and so on. The amortization payments for the year have already started in January. We would have met January, March, April and before the monies are in we would have made June, July so it would not be the end of the world. Government by that time would have already paid half of its amortization payments for the year. It just means that going forward for 2018, where we might have had a bit of a cushion, we’d have to go back to the drawing table to see how we meet the obligations in that case.”

Mr Larry Franklin said: “It’s a positive move. A number of other Caribbean territories would have also gone down the route – TCI, Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia – to some extent, to divest their shares outside of government entities, so I think it will be a positive move for us in that regard.”

Meanwhile Mr Claudel Romney explained that when there is a public share offering, it is guided by a Prospectus – a very detailed document that is distributed to potential investors.

“It contains all the necessary information about the history of the company, its dividend history, formation of the company, financial statements of the company up to its current year – and 3 years futuristic financial statements. It is a sort of contract between the investor and the institution. In this case it’s sort of an anomaly because Government is doing the share issue as opposed to ANGLEC. However, the Prospectus must contain all the relevant information pertaining to ANGLEC. A Prospectus is supposed to be an objective document. It has to be approved by the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission,” he said.

Romney continued: “The writing of the Prospectus is a process – we anticipate completion of that draft within the next two weeks, at which time it will be delivered to the Regulatory Commission. The Regulatory Commission indicates that it can take them a month to go through the Prospectus to make sure it complies with the 54 requested or required items in the Prospectus Regulations. We try to consolidate that period, or shrink it, because we understand time is of essence with Government…

“Government, ANGLEC and Corporate Advisors will certainly follow every mandate of the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission and Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchange in this exercise. It is very important that is followed. It’s a formal process and the Prospectus will include all the details so that the public can digest it.”

The Share Issue Working Group intends to hold meetings with various stakeholders, business organizations, and other bodies on the matter.

anguillian
By anguillian May 2, 2017 10:39

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