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Sep 16, 2013

Banks Holdings Limited and C.P.B.L. back in Court…a settlement is reached

Banks Holdings Limited of Barbados and the Belize Citrus Growers Association Investment Company Limited and Citrus Products of Belize Limited were back in court this morning. The session, before Justice Rita Joseph Olivetti, was brief and arguments were put on hold. When both parties went back this afternoon, Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck informed the court that the two sides have come to terms on a settlement of the dispute between them. The dispute centres on three matters: the appointment of a chairman to the C.P.B.L. board of directors, the method by which decisions of the board are taken, and the thorny matter of the management of the company, including the fate of C.E.O., Doctor Henry Canton.  Neither side was willing to speak on record in respect of the substance of the settlement or even the nature of the dispute itself. But we can say that in this morning’s session, Attorney for Banks, Derek Courtenay, suggested that they wanted relief on the matter of possible arbitration of a material dispute. Derek Courtenay asked Justice Olivetti to make a declaration that the nature of the dispute and the surrounding circumstances are such that it would result in the winding up of C.P.B.L.  This was rejected by the other side that is represented by Attorney Eamon Courtenay, who pointed out that the court cannot make that declaration. Eamon Courtenay further suggested that there is nothing to prevent the two sides from going to arbitration under the terms of the Investment Agreement.  That was when the court asked both sides to meet in chambers after which the settlement was announced. B.H.L. and I.C.l. signed an initial investment agreement in 2006; conflict between the two parties first arose in 2010 over the status of Canton who remains with C.P.B.L.

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