January 03, 2018
The Government of The Bahamas today approved the acquisition of the minority shareholdings of ICD Utilities Limited, the part-owner of Grand Bahama Power & Light Company Limited (GBPL), by Emera Caribbean Holdings Limited (ECHL). This transaction will now vest 100 per cent of the ownership of GBPL in ECHL.
The Government notes that the terms of the buyout of the minority shares held by Bahamians, pursuant to a proposal commenced over a year ago, is a transaction which in all respects exceeds the requirements of Bahamas Company Law.
Further, the transaction was approved by a majority of the Bahamian shareholders, who voted at a meeting of shareholders on 8 November 2017.
One of the stipulations for the proposed transaction included a requirement that “the majority of the minority” of shareholders should support the proposed shares acquisition. This threshold was significantly exceeded with the support of 96 percent of those who voted.
While the policy of the Government is, and remains, to encourage Bahamian ownership and participation in the domestic economy wherever possible, it was not found to be legally justifiable for the Bahamas Government to intervene in the shareholding transactions between a private company and its shareholders, all of whom had the ability to seek independent counsel and advice.
The government’s commitment to advancing Bahamian ownership and participation in the economy will, in the near future, be further expanded and deepened with the offering of shares to the Bahamian general public and institutional investors in ALIV and subsequently in BTC.
This will help in the expansion of a shareholder society for more Bahamians.