…blames APNU/AFC-appointed overseers for ‘cash-strapped’ position
…says if NICIL paid for lands it took, Corporation’s debts would be repaid
…holding company took assets, left debts on Corporation’s books
The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo) says it is hogtied by the conditions associated with a $30 billion bond that was secured from a commercial bank by the state- owned National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), since the Holding Company “has essentially committed GuySuCo to a financial arrangement that has no real value to the Corporation in its current form.”
The Corporation, in a strongly worded missive on Thursday, lashed out at NICIL over its recent caution that GuySuCo must abide by the terms and conditions of the loan. In a public statement on Thursday, the entity insisted that its operations and financial management are being “derailed by NICIL’s ambitions and uncooperative and less than professional conduct, which have now placed the Corporation and its employees in the cash-strapped position it is in.”
The Corporation has said it wishes to state that NICIL should approach reprimanding the Corporation with much caution, and would like to remind the Holding Company of the following: “The Corporation has noticed that NICIL has launched a public awareness campaign promoting its success in implementing a number of projects which are the intellectual property of GuySuCo and its managers. It should also be noted that this is being done without any consultation or reference to these being the ideas of GuySuCo.”
The Corporation has said it is perturbed that NICIL has arrogated to itself the responsibility of managing the Corporation, this is to the peril of the Corporation and its employees.
The entity pointed to projects based on strategic company documents developed by current and former managers of GuySuCo on the new direction relative to diversification and divestment of aspects of the company, in order to ensure survivability of the remaining three estates – Uitvlugt, Blairmont and Albion.
According to GuySuCo, “When these company documents were provided to the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) of NICIL, it was solely for the purpose of overseeing the divestment and possible diversification of GuySuCo’s four estates – Wales, Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon, with the understanding that the proceeds will be given to GuySuCo to be reinvested into the three remaining estates.”
As such, the corporation is adamant that while its documents and intellectual property were handed over to the NICIL/SPU for the purpose of overseeing the divestment and diversification of the four estates, during 2017- 2018, “the Corporation learnt that some of these documents were used to transfer the ownership of Wales, Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates and other company property to NICIL without GuySuCo’s knowledge.”
It was noted that, later in 2018, the Corporation learnt that NICIL/SPU had applied to a commercial bank and had successfully acquired a G$30B Bond by using the strategic plans developed by GuySuCo without any consultation with the Corporation as to the relevance of the sequencing for the Bond arrangement.
The Corporation said on Thursday that the NICIL/SPU has since “brought no new thinking to the transition process of GuySuCo and the sugar industry, since the strategic plans or business plans that were used by NICIL and submitted to the commercial bank for the G$30B Bond were developed by a group of managers from GuySuCo as part of a task force that was led by the current Chairman of GuySuCo, Mr. John Dow, under the leadership of Mr. Errol Hanoman, a former Chief Executive.”
Referring to NICIL’s recent upbraid directed at the corporation, GuySuCo noted that “by some strange turn of events, having used the intellectual property of GuySuCo and its managers, NICIL now states, ‘We strongly advise the Directors of GuySuCo to obey the terms and conditions of the bond, and to seek to ensure compliance with same. In particular, we urge that it honours the reporting of its expenditure schedule to NICIL and the bond holders.”
GuySuCo has since reported that the current Chairman of GuySuCo was the author of the strategic plan that was submitted to the bank for the G$G30 Bond; and had he or GuySuCo been consulted, the Bond arrangement would have had more relevance now.
“It should be noted that GuySuCo has proposed that the Bond arrangement be revisited and tailored, and be aligned with the phases of its business plan. It should also be noted that the “terms and conditions” which were negotiated for the Bond without the involvement of GuySuCo are largely out of sync with the operational requirements of GuySuCo.”
As such, GuySuCo adumbrated the position that “NICIL has essentially committed GuySuCo to a financial arrangement that has no real value to the Corporation in its current form.”
Referring to a recent public positon that “NICIL will, in the very near future, make available a further G$750,000,000,” GuySuCo was adamant “this disbursement can only be possible when NICIL and GuySuCo can engage in solutions-driven discussions about making GuySuCo a commercially viable entity.”
According to GuySuCo, it must be reminded “that Wales, Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon estates, with accompanying assets, both moveable and immoveable, were vested to the Holding Company without a penny being paid to GuySuCo.”
The corporation, in its missive, posits, “If NICIL should pay GuySuCo for at least the 4,600 acres of freehold lands which the Corporation had valued at G$80B, the Corporation will also agree for NICIL to deduct the G$9,970,759,568 that was disbursed from the Bond and the remainder could be disbursed into a Trust Fund for GuySuCo to carry out its recapitalization programme, pay its creditors, and address operating expenses.”
It was noted additionally that while NICIL vested the assets from Wales, Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon estates, “all of the liabilities for those estates still remain on GuySuCo’s accounting records. If NICIL can take over these liabilities also, which include ex-gratia pensions and bank loans, this will definitely pave the way for the Corporation to become a commercially viable entity.”
GuySuCo additionally reminded that it is patiently waiting on the Holding Company to submit copies of the Valuations for Wales, Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon estates for 2017, “since our external auditors are awaiting same to close-off the 2017, 2018 and 2019 audits for GuySuCo.”