Clico has entered into agreements to sell its 36.63 per cent shareholding in Methanol Holdings International Ltd (MHIL) to the Government and the wholly state-owned National Investment Fund Holding Company (NIF), Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Brian Manning told the Senate on Tuesday.
Manning said on January 9, 2023, the Government accepted an offer to purchase 19.63 per cent of the 36.63 per cent of MHIL that Clico offered for sale.
He said that on February 21, 2023, NIF accepted an offer from Clico to acquire the remaining 17 per cent shareholding that Clico offered for sale.
Both the Government and NIF paid the valuation price that resulted from a valuation of Clico’s shareholding in MHIL that was completed last year, Manning said. He did not disclose the price that the Government and NIF paid for the shares or the valuation of the shares.
Clico, which originally owned 56.52 per cent of MHIL, plans to retain a 19.9 per cent stake in the methanol company, as prescribed by the Insurance Act.
“To date, Clico has signed share acquisition agreements and share transfer forms with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and NIF. But the share register of MHIL has not yet been amended to reflect the transfers,” Manning said.
He also said none of the shares held by Clico in MHIL have been sold to the Proman group.
Clico was obliged by the shareholders’ agreement, through which MHIL was established, to offer its shares in the company to Proman. That agreement stipulated that each of the two shareholders of MHIL, Clico and Proman, had the right of first refusal if the other party wanted to sell its shares.
He said Clico offered the 36.63 per cent stake in MHIL to Consolidated Energy Ltd (CEL), by letter dated November 1, 2022.
Manning said: “In accordance with the share valuation agreement and the independent valuation report, CEL responded to Clico’s offer with counter offers as to quantities, price and conditions that were all outside of the share valuation agreement and the offer made to them.
“Hence, CEL’s response was deemed by Clico to be a rejection of its offer.”
Clico then proceeded to offer the MHIL shares to the Government.
He said on November 2, 2021, Clico entered into a joint share valuation agreement with CEL, to conduct an independent valuation of the shares of MHIL.
Manning said it was agreed that Clico would offer CEL a maximum of 36.63 per cent and a minimum of 16 per cent shares in MHIL.
It was also agreed, he said, that any shares offered to CEL but not taken up by the company, would be offered to the Government for debt reduction and that any remaining shares would be offered to a non-competitive, third party.
“The maximum offer of 36.63 per cent of MHIL was sufficient to cover the outstanding debt owed to the Government of the Republic of T&T, while allowing Clico to retain the maximum percentage holding permitted by the Insurance Act of 2018, which is 20 per cent,” Manning said.
Manning made the statement in response to a motion on the adjournment brought by Opposition Senator, Wade Mark.
MHIL is an investment holding company for shares owned by Clico and Proman in the methanol producer based in the Middle Eastern country of Oman.