Express Business Filler #1

CL FINANCIAL’s joint liquidators have prepared about 1,700 acres of land owned by Home Construction Ltd for sale, according to a report prepared by the group’s liquidators David Holukoff and Hugh Dickson.

The report is dated and stamped June 15, 2020. It is the sixth report of the joint liquidators of CL Financial to T&T’s High Court. The joint liquidators are required to submit a report to the High Court every six months under the terms of the liquidation. They have done so since the first report on December 14, 2017.

The report states that a sale process for the 1,700 acres of land will be launched today, on July 1.

Preparation of the selling process for the acreage included the joint liquidators “working closely with brokers to prepare a detailed marketing process and budget, oversee the preparation of a substantial data room for interested parties and prepare all legal documents to govern the sale.”

Although the report does not explicitly outline if the 1,700 acres of land will be sold in one block or subdivided and sold as parcels for individuals, the reference to the joint liquidators overseeing the preparation of a substantial data room may hint that they are seeking to sell the property as a single block.

Such a strategy would ensure that the land—most of which is believed to be located along the East-West Corridor—is snapped up by a wealthy individual.

The report also states that the joint liquidators received an order from the High Court on December 19, 2019 permitting them to oversee the divestment of in excess of 3,000 acres of land under an open-market sales process.

The process is to be undertaken with the assistance of an expert broker, who has extensive experience of managing complex real estate sales in distressed situations together with a penal of independent regional brokers.

The joint liquidators’ report states that shortly following the receipt of the order from the High Court, a formal notice of ‘Landlikely to be acquired for a public purpose’ was filed in the T&T Gazette for seven separate lots of land owned by Home Construction Ltd (about 1,400 acres in total).

Those lots of land were carved out of Home Construction’s main land bank marketing process and will be subjected to compulsory acquisition in accordance with the laws of T&T.

“The joint liquidators intend to market and sell the remaining portion of the main land bank (about 1,700 acres) in line with the sale and marketing strategy sanctioned by the High Court and significant time was spent prior to the pandemic preparing marketing material and data to assist in this objective,” according to the report of the joint liquidators.

The report states that the brokers have been working closely with Home Construction and the liquidators’ team “to prepare the necessary budgets, online platforms, drone videos and surveys for a sales process to commence on July 1, 2020.

“The joint liquidators have researched the appetite and financial condition of the potential market for the land bank and determined that there is sufficient liquidity and interest to launch a sales process.

“As the current market is highly volatile due to Covid-19, the joint liquidators will continue to monitor the market and adjust the sale process accordingly.”

The report, as well, states that the start of the divestment process was delayed by two to three months because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but “it is expected that the sale process will be substantially completed in the following period as originally intended.” That means the liquidators expect to complete the sales process by the end of 2020.

The document also makes reference to instructions being given to Home Construction to sell 3,490,030 shares in Agostini’s Ltd following the receipt by the joint liquidators of a court order.

The report states that the shares were brought to the market in early March 2020, immediately before T&T’s first Covid-19 case.

“The pandemic limited demand for the shares during the marketing process. A sale of 50 per cent of the shares was successfully completed in mid-March to release value of $39 million to Home Construction,” according to the report. —Anthony Wilson

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