… liquidator seeks to recover further $721 million
Following the order by Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang that Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana be liquidated, the process is beginning to unveil assets that were previously unknown to the majority of shareholders in the company.
Some of these assets (buildings) have already been put up for sale by the liquidator and now the liquidator is inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from interested investors/firms for any or all of the some securities owned by CLICO (Guyana).
According to the invitation, CLICO (Guyana) holds 16,242,720 common shares in Banks DIH Ltd. with a face value of $262 Million; at Republic Bank Ltd: 300,000 common shares worth $19 million; at the Berbice Bridge Company Inc. 80,000,000 common shares, Subordinate Loan Stock with a face value of $400M bearing an annual interest rate of 11 per cent and loan stock of $40M bearing an annual interest rate of seven per cent.
All told, the liquidator is seeking to recover some $721 million from the sale of these assets.
Persons interested in the acquisition of the assets are now being asked to submit their Expressions of Interest to the Liquidator by Friday, indicating the level and nature of their interest in each of the specified securities and their capacity and timelines to conclude a transaction.
“CLICO, ‘Under Liquidation’ is not bound to accept any Expression of Interest and reserves the right to deal and/or treat with any or all Expressions of Interest in a manner it deems fit,” according to an advertisement.
In a previous advertisement listed on the ‘eprocure’ website it is stated that, “Pursuant to an Order of Court authorising the liquidation of CLICO, tenders are hereby invited from interested persons for the purchase of the properties at 191 Camp Street, South Cummingsburg, Georgetown (with contents); Lamaha Street, Georgetown, (with contents); Lot 129 Irving and Laluni Streets, Georgetown (with contents); 52 Area “J” Lamaha Gardens, Georgetown (residential house and contents); 200-201 Camp Street, Cummingsburg, Georgetown (as is) and Lot 5 Block ‘1C’, East Half, Plantation Hydronie, Essequibo (land only).
Interested persons are asked to register with the company and can obtain Tender Packages containing the following information upon payment of $5,000 per property.
The information that will be provided include, A Letter of Authority to visit the premises; Draft Agreement of Sale and Purchase; The terms and conditions of the Tender; A Form of Tender that must be completed when submitting a bid; Details of the property including ownership documents, photograph and survey plan and a Copy of the Advertisement.
All tenders for the properties must also be submitted by Friday.
President Bharrat Jagdeo recently said that should they not receive favourable bids then the government may have to buy the properties.
Chief Justice Chang, in his ruling, said that the court finds that the assets of CLICO (Guyana) do not exceed its total liabilities by any amount let alone by 25 per cent of the net amount of premiums received in respect of long-term insurance business for the preceding financial year.
The Bank of Guyana, which now performs the functions of the Office of Commissioner of Insurance, in its affidavit stated that the statutory funds of CLICO (Guyana) were then illiquid.
“The report of Nizam Alli, Chartered Accountant showed that as at the 27th February, 2009, CLICO (Guyana) was in deficit of $7B at best and at worst $11B.”
The Judicial Manager’s report showed that up to February 28, 2009, surrender of policies amounted to $1.7B and in a later affidavit, she deposed that up to April 2009, within two months, 829 policyholders had surrendered their policies to the tune of $9.6B.
It was pointed out that Winston Ramalho, the director who represents CLICO (Guyana) in these proceedings, and his wife, surrendered their policies to the tune of $45M.
According to Chang, “The clear picture is not only that total liabilities of CLICO (Guyana) far exceed its assets but that the company is on a rapid decline… It does appear that this state of financial affairs was triggered by the illegal transmission of US$34M externally in favour of (Clico) Bahamas Limited, its sister company.”
It should be noted, according to Chang, that the Insurance Act does not allow any insurer carrying on long term insurance businesses to invest more than 15 per cent of its statutory fund outside of Guyana.
The US$34 million illegally remitted abroad represents about 53 per cent of the company’s total assets.
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