West Hamilton shareholders to vote on BSX delisting
Shareholders of West Hamilton Holdings Ltd will soon vote at the company annual meeting on a proposal to delist from the Bermuda Stock Exchange.
Item nine on the agenda of purposes for the meeting states: “To consider, and if thought appropriate, approve the voluntary withdrawal of listing from The Bermuda Stock Exchange on or before December 31, 2023.”
The September 12 AGM comes after West Hamilton lost more than five million dollars in the year to September 30, 2022.
The company’s consolidated statement bottom lines a total comprehensive loss of $5,167,095 ($1.76 per share), a substantial downturn from the 2021 year profit of $6,860,711 ($2.31 per share).
This March, the company agreed to a merger plan with Princess West Limited, a company controlled by a trust of the Green family, that included the sale of the iconic Belvedere Building at 69 Pitts Bay Road and the adjacent parking lot.
J Michael Collier, the West Hamilton chairman, reported last week in a letter to shareholders: “On March 14, 2023, the company announced that it had entered into an agreement and plan of merger with another local company, which will result in the sale of 69 and 71 Pitts Bay Road, representing approximately 86 per cent of the company’s property assets.
“Completion of the transaction remains subject to a number of conditions and the company will update shareholders as and when the conditions have been met.
“The net proceeds from the sale will be distributed to shareholders.”
After the sale, West Hamilton will have one remaining property asset, the mixed-use building located at 71A Pitts Bay Road.
It houses nine executive condominiums, two of which have been sold, a penthouse office suite and two ground floors occupied by a high-end gymnasium.
Mr Collier’s letter said: “In September 2022, the investment property was valued by an independent property appraiser who estimated the value to be $17.58 million. The mortgage on the property will be reduced to approximately $5.8 million.
“The net value of $11.78 million or $4.04 per share will be attributed to shareholders.”
He said the company earned net operating income for the year of $1.94 million (2021: $2.13 million).
Total revenue for the year was $3,072,418 (2021: $3,148,207), a small reduction caused by a lower occupancy level in the Belvedere building.
The parking garage continues to enjoy full occupancy levels with several potential customers on a waiting list for available parking spaces.
West Hamilton operating expenses increased by 14.6 per cent due to higher maintenance and electricity costs.
Interest expense decreased by 4.2 per cent due to lower borrowing rates during 2022.
Since the year end, interest expense increased due to the increased cost for borrowing, resulting from higher interest rates.
The company’s free cash of $2,418,387 generated from operations was used mainly to pay dividends of $2,315,470 to shareholders.
Meanwhile, long time insurance executive Glenn Titterton this year retired from the board.
Mr Collier has also put in his notice. He told shareholders earlier in the year that having served on the board for 12 years, it was time to step down. He will not seek re-election at this year’s annual meeting.
In the latter stages of 2022, UIL Limited, an exempted closed-end Bermudian-incorporated investment company, bought nearly 1.6 million shares of West Hamilton and became the majority shareholder (56.9 per cent of the issued and outstanding shares).