Berger Directors Misguided Minority Shareholders to Sell Shares

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Berger head office

We must all remember September 2017 when news emerged of a Trinidad based company called ANSA McAL which offered to acquire shares of minority shareholders of Berger Paints, through its subsidiary ANSA Coatings International. ANSA offered to buy each unit for JMD$10.88 despite the value per share being at JMD$11.60 at the time. Unfortunately Ansa only received JMD$6 million of the JMD$105 million units they had requested and the stock was not qualified to be delisted.

Many rejected the offer as it was seen as unfair and minimal, which was right as the stock was valued more than the JMD$10.88 they offered and even more now that it last traded on the Jamaica Stock Exchange at JMD$19.10.

Directors at Berger Paint Jamaica thought otherwise. They highly recommended that shareholders take up the offer which they described as a fair price. A few of the directors along with a few employees stated they would accept the offer, according to Berger Paint. However, after releasing its annual report in December 2017, it was revealed that all the directors of Berger Paint Jamaica still had all their shares listed and only one employee sold her shares.

It was later reported that the registrar did not receive the forms of acceptance from the directors during the application period. The directors, however, are adamant that they did in fact submit the acceptance forms but the applications are no where to be found. Shareholders are now questioning the poor judgement of the directors who were tasked to protect their interest but instead ill- advised the minority.

In its financial statement ending December 2017, Berger Paint Jamaica reported revenue of JMD$1.9 billion, a 21 percent decrease from JMD$2.4 billion the previous year. Net profit also took a hit, down by 45 percent from JMD$316 million to JMD$174.1 million.


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