FTC refuses BNTCL sale to SOL

FTC refuses BNTCL sale to SOL
29 Nov

The proposed $200 million dollar sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited to SOL has been provisionally turned down by the Fair Trading Commission.

The FTC outlined the summary of its decision in a four page release issued late Tuesday afternoon via email.

The FTC has determined that the application, as it stands is essentially anticompetitive, and it would only approve it, if certain conditions were met.

It says the application would have to be adjusted to address the monopoly on import and distribution that SOL would acquire in the transaction.

The Commission also wants removed from the application, clauses relating to 15 year moratoria on building of new terminal facilities or import depots in Barbados; issuing of licenses for the storage of gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, and aviation or jet fuels used for industrial and commercial purposes in Barbados, other than those that currently exist, as well as a proposed 32 percent increase in throughput fees.

The Commission is also adamant that BNTCL Holding Limited or any of its affiliates, do not acquire an exclusive right of importation of oil products in Barbados.

Over all, the FTC says SOL has not proven that the application is not anti-competitive, nor has it shown it is willing to address certain issues in the application.

It adds that based on these factors, it could only decide against the proposed merger transaction in its present form.

The FTC says however it will assess any substantially altered transaction, including a relevant amended agreement, which may be placed before it.

SOL has responded to the decision handed down by the Fair Trading Commission regarding the sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited.

In its statement, SOL says it respects the decision and will issue a further statement when it completes its own internal review process.

Rubis has also officially responded, saying it is pleased to see the FTC conducted an independent and detailed review of the transaction.

Rubis says the review also showed that the FTC considered all of the possible consequences to the competitive landscape as well as to consumers to reach their decision.

According to Rubis, in its own view, the decision preserves a competitive fuels market place and protects individuals and enterprises that consume fuel.

It adds that the FTC's reinforces the company's commitment to remain a strong, innovative, and vibrant fuel supplier in Barbados.


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