Sunday, April 21, 2024

$30m NSR debt

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NSR Limited, the business in which Julie’N Supermarket founder Neville Seymour Rowe has a substantial stake, is in deep trouble.After being rescued by some prominent business people in 2002, when it had accumulated a debt tagged at more than $30 million, NSR Limited is now in receivership, with Scotiabank seeking to recover money loaned.On June 24, Christopher Sambrano and Craig Waterman of PriceWaterhouseCoopers were appointed joint receivers and managers of the company. Informed sources told the DAILY NATION that NRS’s indebtedness had remained in the region of $30 million, even though it had made “substantial” payments on the debt.Lots of borrowingHeavy borrowing for the renovation of the Haggatt Hall, St Michael property, now known as Mall Internationale, was among the factors blamed for keeping the debt high.“A lot of money was borrowed to turn the Haggatt Hall property into a new mall,” the sources said. NSR Limited is the landlord for the Haggatt Hall complex which houses several businesses, and for the Bridge Street, Bridgetown building that houses Trimart Supermarket and other businesses.Originally Rowe fully owned both properties but was forced to give up majority ownership in the multimillion-dollar operation to save it from take-over by Scotiabank in 2002.However, in exchange for giving up 51 per cent of the shares, he was getting rid of more than $30 million in debt, while receiving three per cent of gross sales, people close to the business had said.Sell backAdditionally, the agreement was reported to have mandated the parties forming the company bailing him out – Sir David Seale of R.L. Seale & Co.; Loron Gibbs of Tweedside Supply Inc.; and John Bellamy of A.S. Bryden – to sell him back the company, debt-free, in ten years for 20 per cent more than the value of their 51 per cent share.The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the company’s position had been hurt by the economic downturn.However, they pointed out that businesses operating in the two complexes, including the supermarkets, were not in receivership. (TY)

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