Categorized | Featured, National News

Emera seeks to attain shares of ICD Utilities Limited

Fred Smith 2

Fred Smith 2Outspoken Queens Counsel,  Fred Smith, is  questioning  Emera International’s endeavour to attain all remaining shares of ICD Utilities (ICDU) Limited.

“What is it to stop Emera International in five or ten years redeeming the depository receipts from the Bahamian shareholders, just like Grand Bahama (GB) Power is right now redeeming $15 million of the $35 million preference shares issued to Bahamians directly from GB Power,” Mr. Smith stated.

The attorney  questions GB Power distribution of shares in exchange for ICDU shares. “So just like GB Power has issued shares, albeit preference shares directly, in GB Power, why can’t GB Power issue ordinary shares in exchange for the ICDU shares which people do not want to sell.

“That is fair and respectful; giving shares directly in GB Power in exchange for ICDU shares,” he said.

Mr. Smith then listed benefits of such exchange.

It maintains the integrity of the reason for Bahamian purchase in the first place 23 years ago. It maintains Bahamian ownership directly in the Bahamian power plant; protects growth in value for the Bahamian investor.

It means that Bahamians have direct jurisdictional participation and regulatory participation in GB Power‘s affairs, by keeping the ownership local.

It maintains Emera’s rational of streamlining their corporate shareholding structure which is what they say they wish to do and GB Power is by any financial formula, the most profitable company in the Emera group.

He also detailed benefits regarding taxes.  He said  “the 20 year exemption from real property taxes, business license taxes, personal taxes or corporate taxes under the Hawksbill Creek agreement and given that they have now repaid the loan for the new 25 Mega Watt power plant they built seven or so years ago.”

He  concluded that this is a financially catastrophic deal for Bahamian investors in ICDU and such takeover of compulsory divestiture of Bahamian shares  is nothing more than a corporate raid depriving Bahamians who currently would benefit more profitably from owning shares directly in Grand Bahama Power or through ICD Utilities than they would by owning an average value in Emera International

Written by Jones Bahamas

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