Shareholders letter says BF&M warned against sale
A strongly worded letter to shareholders has been issued by the chairman of the board of BF&M Ltd, in the wake of the shock sale of more than a third of the stock of the insurer to domestic rival, the Argus Group.
The letter details how deeply concerned board members were at the proposed disposal of shares by the largest shareholder, Camellia Plc, and how their repeatedly expressed concerns about the sale of the shares to a domestic competitor was to no avail.
The letter is signed by chairman of the BF&M board, Anthony Joaquin, who just rose to the post at the beginning of April.
The letter reads: “As we noted in our press release earlier today [Tuesday], BF&M is disappointed by the announcement from Camellia that it will sell its 36.9 per cent ownership interest in the company to Argus, a direct competitor.
“We wanted to send you this further update to provide more context for BF&M’s position.
“Dating back to the announcement of our strategic review process, we have made great efforts to work collaboratively and constructively with Camellia to achieve a mutually beneficial arrangement.
“Our strategic review included Caribbean-based insurers who do not have presence in Bermuda and a range of local strategic partners. Any of these options would have needed to have been approved by the BF&M board of directors as being in the best interests of the company as a whole.
“On several occasions, we expressed our concerns about the potential adverse consequences of a sale to a direct competitor. This includes the potential impact on policyholders, the local market and employees.
“Unfortunately, our concerns have been ignored.
“In light of today’s announcement by Argus, the board of BF&M Limited is now focused on protecting the interests of all stakeholders, including the 63.1 per cent of shareholders who are not receiving an offer for their shares.
“In conclusion, the board is prepared to assess the full implications of the transfer of the BF&M ownership stake and to exercise our fiduciary duty to protect the interests of all our shareholders.”