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Sale offer ‘a trap’—Abdulah

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Amidst rumours that the management of ArcelorMittal has offered to sell the Government the Trinidad leg of their operations for $1, economist David Abdulah says the offer may be a trap.

In an interview yesterday, Abdulah said if a condition of the sale is that the Government has to assume Mittal’s $1.3 billion debt, the company could be “setting up” T&T.

“It doesn’t make any sense to purchase the company and assume the debts,” Abdulah said. “Because we don’t know whether the debts are intra-company. It might look like a good deal to the people of T&T but it may just be a good deal for Arcelor.”

Abdulah said if the company was successful in filing for insolvency, the workers will be the last to receive any payment. 

The company has applied to the Inspector of Insolvency at the Ministry of Finance for relief.

“A liquidator is appointed and seeks to sell and pay off creditors. The problem is the workers who are owed, their debt is considered the last of the debt to be paid. 

“All other creditors would be paid off first as severance pay is last in the list.”