CLICO pol­i­cy­hold­ers mon­i­tor­ing re­ports of Duprey takeover of­fer

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - – CMC

THE CLICO Pol­i­cy­hold­ers Group says it is “closely mon­i­tor­ing” re­ports that the for­mer ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of CL Fi­nan­cial, Lawrence Duprey, is mak­ing an at­tempt to re­claim the com­pany, which col­lapsed in 2009 and was res­cued by the gov­ern­ment of Trinidad & Tobago.

Lo­cal me­dia re­ports over the week­end in­di­cated that Duprey had made an of­fer to re­pur­chase the com­pany into which suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments have pumped bil­lions of dol­lars. The res­cue in­cluded two in­sur­ance com­pa­nies – Colo­nial Life In­sur­ance Com­pany and Bri­tish Amer­i­can In­sur­ance Com­pany.

Some of the as­sets taken over by the Trinidad & Tobago gov­ern­ment have since been sold, in­clud­ing the spir­its busi­ness in Ja­maica, the for­mer Las­celles deMer­cado & Com­pany, now J. Wray & Nephew Lim­ited.

The Min­istry of Finance and the Cen­tral Bank of Trinidad and Tobago are said to be “looking very closely” at the pro­posal to re­claim CL’s as­sets put for­ward by a group led by Duprey.

EARLY DIS­CUS­SION

“If and/or when the min­istry forms the view that the of­fer is re­al­is­tic, a sub­mis­sion will be made to Cab­i­net,” said Finance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert, who re­ported that dis­cus­sions are at an early stage.

Carl­ton Reis, a spokesman for Duprey, said the for­mer ex­ec­u­tive chair­man had re­turned to Trinidad & Tobago last month and met with of­fi­cials of CL Fi­nan­cial sub­sidiaries amid re­ports that the re­quired funds to re­pay the Gov­ern­ment have been raised.

CLICO Pol­i­cy­hold­ers Group chair­man Peter Per­mell said his group is “closely mon­i­tor­ing these de­vel­op­ments with the un­der­stand­ing and ex­pec­ta­tion that if and/or when Mr Duprey set­tles CLICO’s debt to the Gov­ern­ment, and, by ex­ten­sion, the tax­pay­ers of Trinidad and Tobago, in full, the next key stake­holder group to be set­tled or paid the bal­ance of money owed to them is the over 15,000 as­sent­ing CLICO pol­i­cy­hold­ers”.

Per­mell said that based on Duprey’s pre­vi­ous state­ments that he wants to take back his com­pany, “the CPG has al­ready sig­nalled to Mr Duprey that there is ab­so­lutely no way that the for­mer CLICO ex­ec­u­tive chair­man can ever hope to be taken se­ri­ously by the in­vest­ing pub­lic of Trinidad and Tobago again if he does not en­sure that these pol­i­cy­hold­ers, who have en­dured tremen­dous fi­nan­cial hard­ship and suf­fer­ing over the past eight years, are paid their hard-earned money”.

Per­mell said the pol­i­cy­hold­ers would “con­tinue to pay close at­ten­tion to these ne­go­ti­a­tions and recom­mit our­selves to en­sur­ing that all pol­i­cy­hold­ers must be paid all monies con­trac­tu­ally due to them”.

Lawrence Duprey, for­mer chair­man of the CL Fi­nan­cial Group.

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