April 22, 2010

Chief Executive Officer of the Citrus Growers Association Dr. Henry Anderson has responded to a release from the Citrus Products of Belize Limited regarding a recent ruling. According to Anderson the CGA has been consistent in its position.

Doctor Henry Anderson; CEO, CGA

“We had four pointers that we were looking for and it came out in the ruling. As we said when we visited Love FM when Mr. Woods and I were there that the singular stance of the CGA is that we have the absolute right to appoint and replace our directors on the CPBL Board. The judge in paragraph 128 of our ruling agreed with that and went on to say that in fact we properly exercised our right July 10, 2009. It is crystal clear that we have the right to do that. She also in the case of the CEO of CPBL is as the defendant in the case, his argument was that the only way that he could be removed is by way of following the articles of association; the articles of CPBL which would in effect require a 90% share holder vote. The judge made it clear that ICL had the right to remove him and we could remove him by letter as we did. With respect to Banks Holdings suggesting that this matter should not have gone to court and was suggesting that we are going against the investment agreement which calls for arbitration of dispute; the courts agreed with us. This was not a dispute with Banks we were merely getting an interpretation as to our rights under the investment agreement and the articles so she heard the case. The judge also made it definitively clear that clause 9-1 says that either the majority share holder which is CGA and ICL or the investor which is Banks have the right; absolute right to appoint and remove their directors at anytime. We view this as an indication of a victory because if you see those people were removed from last year and it means that we can remove them today, tomorrow, the day after, the following day at any point in time.”

Anderson says they are looking forward to the annual general meeting which comes up next week.

Doctor Henry Anderson

“We are waiting the coming up of the CPBL AGM. Our point has been consistent Ava; we look forward to getting our five directors to the board. As a matter of fact we have taken steps legally to do so before the AGM. At the AGM we need to put in a new slate of directors and that will be done at that point and we look forward to working to improve the productive and the processing side of this company. In the case of banks, depending on their desire to work with us then we would seek to work with them and take the industry where it needs to go. When you look at this industry we have the capacity to process ten to eleven million boxes of fruit. For this crop season we did about one point three million boxed of grapefruit and we are estimating only four point one boxes of oranges so there is a lot of work that we need to do to take the industry forward. That is our interest to exercise our full rights under the investment.”

For its part the CPBL release says in the judgement handed down by Justice Minet Hafiz earlier this week it ruled that under the articles of association of the CPBL, the said articles did not apply for the removal of the directors. The release goes on to say the judge said she was unable to rule in favour of the C-G-A on the removal of the directors at this time as this would serve no useful purpose since the next annual general meeting is to be held in the next few weeks and the removal of the directors would create administrative difficulties. According to CPBL this has also been the position of Bank Holdings, the strategic investor.
Live and let live