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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 22ND SEPTEMBER, 2014
Clico is for sale but it will only go if
the price is right, Finance and the Econ-
omy Minister Larry Howai said yester-
He said so during yesterday s Standing
Finance Committee meeting of the House of
Representatives on the 2015 budget, in response
to questions from Opposition MP Colm Imbert
on Atrius, the company which was to be
established to acquire Clico s assets and lia-
bilities of last year.
Clico was part of the CL Financial Group
of companies which collapsed in 2009 and
received at least $7 billion in bailout from the
former People s National Movement (PNM)
Howai said the People s Partnership Gov-
ernment was "no longer pursuing the company
(Atrius) taking over the assets and liabilities
"We expect that we will be disposing of
the portfolio by way of a portfolio sale and
therefore there was no need for us to budget
for this item," he confirmed to legislators yes-
Imbert then asked the minister if Clico was
being wound up.
Howai said: "Yes, the intention... yes, would
be to sell the portfolios and it depends on
whether we get the price that we are looking
Howai said if the right price was not
obtained, via a sale, the company would have
to continue under existing arrangements.
Imbert reminded the minister that $46
million was allocated to the holding company
Atrius in 2014. He asked what would be the
fate of the staff at the company.
Howai said there was no staff at Atrius. He
later clarified that "nothing was transferred
(to Atrius). We had simply capitalised the
company, which monies the company will
now return to us." He said no assets were
given to Atrius.
Imbert then asked Howai to explain the
reason for abandoning the plan to establish
In response, Howai said that was being
done "because at the end of the day we would
have to invest $1.5 billion more to purchase
the assets of Clico and to capitalise the com-
pany under the new insurance regime."
Imbert then asked Howai to give details of
the method to be used to sell the insurance
Howai said the ministry was in the process
of getting the valuations done and hiring an
investment bank to provide the assistance
and guidance on how to proceed with the
sale after the valuations were received.
Responding to Imbert s claim that while
the Government had decided to sell Clico, it
had not as yet determined how the sale will
proceed, Howai said: "We have decided that
it makes sense to explore the possibilities of
He added: "If we do not get the prices that
we are looking for, the option always remains
with us to continue to operate the company
under Section 44."
Operating the company under Section 44
means it will be under the control of the Cen-
Super Industrial Services Ltd (SISL) has
remained mum on its plans to outsource
the $1.6 billion Beetham water recycling
Several attempts to reach the project man-
ager at SISL, Joachim Reinert, were again
unsuccessful yesterday, with one person at
the Couva-based company taking messages
and promising to get them to him.
Several calls to Minister of Energy Kevin
Ramnarine were also unsuccessful as calls
to his cellphone went unanswered and he
did not return voice messages.
On Sunday, the T&T Guardian exclusively
published parts of a confidential tender doc-
ument which showed SISL was seeking to
retain other companies to begin the hefty
The bid documents carry a deadline date
of September 5, 2014 for all submissions.
The document carried a strict confiden-
tiality clause, binding the bidders and barring
them from revealing any details of the bid
or the project to the media or any unautho-
It also bars the sub-contracted workers
from speaking about the project "during or
long after their period" on the job.
The document does not specify what that
"long after" period is in terms of months or
years. It also blocked the applicants from
hiring any additional personnel to complete
The People s National Movement again
called for a commission of enquiry into the
award of the contract over the weekend.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley had
called for an enquiry during debate in Par-
liament earlier this year on the award of the
contract to SIS. (See Page A26).
The project was awarded to SISL on Feb-
ruary 28 before the long Carnival weekend.
It was awarded to SISL despite its bid
being almost $400 million higher than its
nearest competitor, Altatec.
The local company, according to its web-
site, was founded in 1979 but the company
was officially registered in 1985 and incor-
porated in 1992, according to Companies
The company was founded by businessman
Krishna Lalla but by June and again in
November 2013 Lalla transferred his final
shares in the company to his sons.
Howai on failed insurance giant's future:
Sale still best
option for Clico
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Members of Elle NYTT perform a hip hop routine during their third dance production, titled E3, at Queen's Hall, St Ann's, over the
weekend. PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
HIP HOP DANCERS
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