Gov’t gets go-ahead to appoint liquidators for CLF
Government’s appeal to appoint provisional liquidators for CL Financial was approved by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.
Government may now appoint Hugh Dickson and Marcus Wide of international accounting firm Grant Thornton as joint provisional liquidators (JPLs).
Appellate Judges Peter Rajkumar, Charmaine Pemberton and Andre Des Vignes reversed the decision of High Court Judge Kevin Ramcharan, who had rejected the Government’s application last week.
As a result, the company’s general meeting, which was scheduled for Tuesday, July 25, was postponed to October at the court’s request.
The government is now custodian of the company’s assets as the company seeks to resolve its $15 billion debt.
SC Deborah Peake, representing the State, said the provisional liquidators will assess the company’s assets and ensure they are not disposed of.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert clarified that government was not seeking to wind up the Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) after erroneous reports were published in the media.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Stuart Young, said Government took this action after careful deliberation and on the basis of legal advice, in order to protect the taxpayers of Trinidad and Tobago.
Imbert said records show government has put $23 billion in and counting in the CLICO bailout while just $7 billion has been recovered in eight and a half years, leaving a debt of approximately $15 billion.
He said Government felt that it had no other choice but to seek to protect the public purse, to protect taxpayers' fund and to make the application for CL Financial to be put into liquidation.
Meanwhile, CL Financial shareholders indicated that they are willing to repay taxpayers for the bailout of the conglomerate.