The Angostura board has terminated the services of managing director and chief executive Wayne Yip Choy. The decision was made at a board meeting yesterday afternoon. The Guardian was told Yip Choy "made an unreasonble claim on the company," and despite efforts to reach an amicable solution, the board agreed to terminate his services. That "incentive compensation claim," valued at more than $20 million, was included in Yip Choy's contract. The claim was tied to Angostura's financial performance. Yip Choy, the Guardian was told, made his claim for the year 2010. The Guardian understands Angostura could not honour the claim which resulted in Yip Choy issuing a pre-action protocol letter to the company.
Following receipt of the letter, the company "opened the door" to resolve the issue, but Yip Choy declined the offer put to him in favour of legal action against the company. In a release titled Management Changes at Angostura Holdings Limited, spokesman Giselle Laronde-West stated: "Angostura Holdings Limited announces that Mr Wayne Yip Choy will no longer hold the position of managing director and CEO of the company, effective September 21st, 2011. "The Board of Directors of AHL has vested the day-to-day management of the company to the Executive Management team," the release said. "Mr Yip Choy will no longer serve on the Board of Directors of Angostura Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries."
Yip Choy has been pivotal in the company's turnaround, following its $1.2 billion debt after the collapse of CL Financial Limited in January 2009, its inability to produce financial statements for 2009 and subsequent delisting from the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange. Last year, the company's experimental marketing increased sales by 18 per cent. Angostura recorded sales of $394.6 million for the first six months of this year-an increase of 11.6 per cent compared with January to June 2010. For the period January to September 2010, the company netted a profit of $91.6 million. The company's after-tax profit declined by 65 per cent from $101.3 million for the first half of 2010 to $35.8 million for the first half of 2011. The company took a $25.9 million hit in 2011 as a result of the impact of its exposure to the volatility of the euro on a legacy loan. Yip Choy did not answer calls to his cell phone yesterday.