One day after Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson granted a temporary injunction blocking the sale of Banks Holdings Ltd, company officials have been making clear their feelings on the matter.
Today they met with members of the media, and from all indications the move is definitely not sitting well with BHL.
With the temporary injunction, the Trinidad conglomerate Ansa McAl now has until November 11, to raise objections to the sale of the local beverage company.
BHL Attorney Barry Gale Queen’s Counsel said they were surprised by the move, particularly after the directors rejected calls by ANSA MCal for the board to challenge the contentious agreement in a meeting on October 27.
Gale cautioned the move will have implications for the company and shareholders.
“The agreement in question requires that any dispute should be resolved through arbitration. And not just arbitration in Barbados but arbitration in Miami, applying New York law.
“So the goal we have in those circumstances to commence arbitration in a foreign jurisdiction, which could be very expensive, protracted to the company and certainly not in the interest of shareholders, particularly in the environment of a competing ongoing bidding process, because the effect of that would be, as we’ve now seen from the court order, to bring everything to a stop, resulting that shareholders who are anxiously looking forward perhaps to a premium, a substantial premium on their shares, may not reap the benefits of the offers that are presently on the table,” Gale said.
A statement from Ansa McAl issued last evening said the injunction means that until November 11, no one will be allowed to solicit or negotiate the purchase or sale of BHL shares.
It further explained that with the court order, Ansa McAl (Barbados) Ltd is now free to contest the 2010 agreement made between BHL and SLU Beverages Ltd, “in the interest of all shareholders”.