Head of the Financial Adjustment Company (FINSAC) Errol Campbell has, for the last three years, been flagging the sale of Ciboney Group Limited as an easy route to listing for any company which may be considering the advantages of going public.
The company, which has sold off most of its assets in the last decade and ceased operations of key segments long before, has been on the market since 2015.
Ciboney Group Limited was formerly the major investor in Sandals Ocho Rios and Ciboney Hotels. It was heavily-indebted in the second half of the 1990s. The properties were sold off and debts paid to FINSAC.
In a letter preceding the company’s new annual report, posted on October 5, 2020, FINSAC head and company chairman Errol Campbell stated that FINSAC Limited, which remains the majority owner in the group, will be inviting investors to submit an offer for its 72 per cent shareholding.
The letter to shareholders stated, “The current situation is that Ciboney has $14.8 million in current assets and $11.8 million in current liabilities, thus reflecting net current asset of $3 million.”
Company directors have been actively trying to interest investors in the listed company since 2015.
FINSAC’s stake totals more than 393 million shares. The debt management company, over time, has written off most of the company’s debt, and eliminated some of its deficits, using proceeds from the sale of its sole landholding.
In December 2017, the company’s last remaining asset, a 16-acre plot of land at Culloden in Westmoreland went to an investor for $250 million.
On March 9, 2018, Ciboney distributed $185.64 million, or 34 cents per share, to shareholders from the land sale proceeds.
In 2018, Campbell explained that Ciboney Group is a shell company with which a buyer could benefit as the company is listed on the JSE, allowing potential investors to raise money via this route.
However, several attempts to close a sale deal have not borne fruit but the new letter indicates that FINSAC is ready to try again.