Mayberry boss questions RJR/Gleaner merger deal

15 Sep 2015

Chairman of local finance house Mayberry Investments Christopher Berry is weary that the proposed merger between the Gleaner’s and RJR’s media interests was better for Gleaner shareholders than those of RJR.

Asking questions at today’s RJR AGM held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, Berry said that when the deal was announced on August 5th 2015, further details would be unveiled 10 days later. Now that it is the middle of September, shareholders are yet to be furnished with critical information on what will be the largest media entity in Jamaica.

Berry pointed out that if one looks at The Gleaner’s latest financial results, its media businesses has posted losses whereas RJR’s has recorded good profits yet the merger sees a 50/50 stock swap.

In an interview with Loop News earlier today, Berry said: “There is a reluctance to share pertinent information with shareholders and that seems fishy to me. This transaction doesn’t seem to be a good one and there needs to be more forthcoming disclosure.”

Chairman of the RJR Group Lester Spaulding countered that legal requirements means that certain details cannot be revealed at this time.

The transaction, which is to be pursued through a court approved scheme of amalgamation, will be a stock for stock deal where Radio Jamaica Limited will issue and exchange 1.2 billion shares on a one for one basis to shareholders of the Gleaner Company Limited for 100 per cent of a newly formed subsidiary Gleaner Company (Media) Limited which will hold the assets of the media entities of the Gleaner Company.

The top ten shareholders of the RJR Group are:

  1. PAM/JPS Employees Superannuation Fund – 30,166,566 shares
  2. NCB Jamaica Limited – 28,064,400 shares
  3. Ideal Portfolio Services – 27,644,594 shares
  4. Mayberry West Indies Bank Limited – 25,434,044 shares
  5. Grace Kennedy Limited Pension Scheme – 16,757,994 shares
  6. Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League – 13,674,833 shares
  7. L.P. Azar Limited – 12,937,688 shares
  8. Marlon C. Blake – 11,000,000 shares
  9. King Alarm Systems – 9,822,401 shares
  10. VMBS A/C Contributory Pension Scheme – 9,621,620 shares