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Sep 15, 2015

P.M. Divulges Settlement Figures with Ashcroft Group

Dean Barrow

Against that backdrop, the PM also got into more detail on the financial aspect of the settlement package between G.O.B. and the Ashcroft Group. As a first payment, the agreement involves more than sixty million dollars based on the NERA valuation of one dollar and forty-four cents per share. That package received House approval through all its stages in today’s sitting, thus ending the prolonged six-year long litigation of B.T.L.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We had a valuation which was arrived at based on the analysis and the advice of a company that we retained from the UK known as NERA. Of course, the previous owners had a different valuation and that was part of the joining of issue. What we are paying down now is the equivalent of the NERA valuation and that amounts to sixty-eight point four million dollars. That’s the NERA valuation of the entirety of the shareholder and that is what we are paying. We continue to say then that our position is that nothing much ought to be due above and beyond that NERA valuation of sixty-eight point four million dollars. However, because there has been arbitration to determine objectively by an impartial tribunal what was the value at the time of the acquisition—whether it is our sixty-eight point four million or whether it is what the previous owners claim—we recognize that the arbitration panel charged with making that determination may end up providing for an award that is in excess of the NERA valuation. We have therefore secured favourable terms to pay any balance that that arbitration award might in fact record over an about NERA so that we will pay fifty percent of that balance upon the award being made and the rest of it, the other fifty percent after twelve months. The third element of the settlement is that any portion of the arbitration panel’s award above NERA that is based on any element having to do with the Accommodation Agreement which we have condemned from the start and which we continue to say was one of the most pernicious and perfidious act dastardly ever perpetrated on the people of this country…any portion of the award made by the tribunal above NERA, based on the Accommodation Agreement, must be reserved and spent in Belize on projects beneficial to the Belizean people.”

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