Thursday, April 18, 2024

Williams Industries takes over NSR Limited

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Williams Industries is acquiring majority ownership in NSR Limited, which has been in receivership since June.
A statement from the receivers said Williams Industries was making the acquisition from the shareholders of Trimart Inc., the supermarket operators.
A partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and one of the joint receivers for NSR, Christopher Sambrano, described the acquisition as a “positive outcome” for NSR and for Trimart Inc., which was the anchor tenant at both locations.
“This investment by Williams Industries means that the receivership of NSR will cease on completion of the sale,” said Sambrano. 
“It also means that Trimart now has an opportunity to focus on restructuring its affairs and continue to operate a supermarket at Mall Internationale.”
NSR Limited owns Mall Internationale at Haggatt Hall, St Michael, as well as a property at Bridge Street in Bridgetown, which Trimart occupied.
The statement said businessman Neville Rowe will continue as a shareholder and director of NSR.
Earlier this month, NSR, supported by the receivers’ attorney, Garth Patterson of Lex Caribbean, forced the temporary closure of the supermarkets at Mall Internationale and Bridge Street.
Seized goods
This happened when its bailiffs seized goods in lieu of $1.7 million in back rent owed by Trimart.
After coming to an agreement on the way forward, Trimart reopened its doors and remains a tenant in Mall Internationale. However, the company has closed its Bridge Street operation.
According to Sambrano, NSR will now seek to optimise the use of the commercial spaces at Mall Internationale and Bridge Street. 
“The receivers are in the late stages of negotiations with a new tenant for the space formerly occupied by Trimart at Bridge Street and plans are being executed by Williams Industries to convert space in both buildings into offices for Government departments,” according to the statement.
“All in all, this investment by Williams Industries is a positive outcome for all parties,” Sambrano said. “It has helped to resolve a difficult situation.”
Unclear
It was unclear from the statement how many shares Williams Industries is holding in NSR and what it is paying for them.
Originally Rowe fully owned the Haggatt Hall and Bridge Street 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 said to have rid himself of more than $30 million in debt, while receiving three per cent of gross sales.
Knowledgeable sources said that NSR’s indebtedness had remained high, even though the company had made “substantial” payments on the debt.

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