Fight for Supreme Ventures

Major shareholder requests emergency general meeting to remove seven directors

Saturday, October 21, 2017



Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) yesterday confirmed that it has received correspondence from Mayberry West Indies Limited for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to pass a resolution to remove seven current members of the SVL board including Chairman Paul Hoo.

The request came after a $2.9-billion buy-out of SVL shares by Zodiac International Investments & Holdings Limited, and Mayberry West Indies Limited on Monday this week.

In addition to Hoo, the other SVL directors that the 'requisitioning members' are seeking to remove are investment banker Peter Chin; businessman Richard Foreman; attorney-at-law John Graham; businessman Steven Hudson; telecommunications and information technology consultant Ian Moore; and accountant and former interim president and chief executive officer at SVL James Morrison.

The three remaining SVL board members are recently appointed president and chief executive officer Ann Dawn Young Sang, Ian Levy, and Trinidadian Brent Sankar, who is a management consultant.

The letter from the 'requisitioning members', sent jointly under the signatures of Mayberry West Indies', Castries, St Lucia, Bamboo Holdings Limited and Konrad Mark Berry, also outlines their intention to appoint seven new directors to the SVL board, namely Christopher Berry; Gary Peart, chief executive officer at Mayberry Investments Limited; Nicholas Mouttet, shareholder and director of Zodiac International Investments and Holdings Limited (owners of approximately 36-38 per cent of SVL shares); David McConnell, co-managing director and co-founder of Select Brands Limited; Peter McConnell, managing director of Trade Winds Citrus Limited; Ansel Howell, management consultant; and Lance Hylton, an attorney-at-law.

Mayberry West Indies Limited, according to its company letterhead, is based at Bourbon House, Bourbon Street in Castries, St Lucia with its directors listed as FINDIR Limited; FINSEC Limited (Secretary), Natalie Augustin (Managing Director); Konrad Berry (Director) and Glitz Corporation Limited (Director).

Bamboo Holdings Limited is a company with connections to Christopher Berry, the executive chairman of Mayberry Investments Limited, while Konrad Berry is the deputy chairman of Mayberry Investments.

The Jamaica Observer was informed that as per Jamaica Stock Exchange regulations any two shareholders holding a minimum of 10 per cent of the shares of SVL can conjoin to requisition an EGM.

Yesterday, in acknowledging the development, Hoo stated in the release: “We have been made aware of the intent of major shareholders to have the EGM and effect some changes at the board level. The discussions are ongoing, and as such I cannot comment too much at this time. What we can definitively say is that the SVL board holds the interest of its shareholders as paramount, and even as we deal with the issues arising out of these developments, we are reiterating our continued commitment to exercise our fiduciary responsibility to all shareholders, as well as to protect the image and reputation of our company and our committed team.”

Further, in its release, SVL stated that the significant shareholder transactions in the last couple of weeks have resulted in the ownership interest of its major shareholder, Zodiac Caribbean Ventures Limited — formerly operating as Intralot Caribbean Ventures Limited (ICVL) — being reduced from 49.896 per cent to 38.3245 per cent.

“ICVL will now be fully owned by Zodiac International Investments & Holdings Limited, a company registered in St Lucia, which is reportedly using a US$40-m bond in Jamaica to finance its takeover of ICVL. It is reported that Mayberry Investments is the lead arranger for the bond,” the SVL release said.

Checks made by the Observer reveal that according to the Companies Act, following the request for an EGM, SVL is required to issue a notice to convene the EGM within 21 days from the date of the deposit of the requisition.

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