Minibus Company Under Fire From Shareholders

Peter Richard of the Mon Repos Minibus Association
Peter Richard of the Mon Repos Minibus Association

SHAREHOLDERS in Combined Investment Incorporated have expressed their dissatisfaction with the performance of the directors of the company, and want them kicked out.

At a meeting of representatives of the various associations in the south, last Wednesday, the shareholders accused the directors of bad business practices, which were jeopardizing their company. According to them, since the formation of the company close to two years ago, they have never been given an update on its financial status, or even had a meeting with directors.

Combined Investment Incorporated was established in May 2013, after the National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) received a rebate of $2 million from the government, some of which was used to purchase shares in the company by its members. The NCOPT is the parent company of Combined Investment which sells tyres. The company has branches in both the north and south of the island.

“Unprofessional” and “uncaring” are just a few of the words the shareholders used to describe the directors of the company, as they vented their disgust over the manner in which it has been operating. They painted a bleak future of the company if the shareholders were not removed.

According to Erick Joseph of the Laborie Minibus Association, the purpose of Wednesday’s meeting was to discuss issues relating to the company and chart a way forward.

When the company was newly established some of its shareholders were so confident that their investment would have turned out to be successful that they purchased additional shares from other shareholders.

The Laborie Minibus Association was the first to begin agitation for the directors to hold a meeting with shareholders and to give them an update on the financial status of the company. However, according to Joseph, the directors did not even acknowledge receipt of a letter from the shareholders requesting the meeting.

‘This is blatant disrespect,” Joseph said.

Other minibus associations in the south are also reported to have tried to force such a meeting with the directors, who are all from the north of the island, but to no avail.

Emmanuel Charlemagne of the Choiseul Minibus Association said it was obvious that something was amiss in the operation of the company.

Peter Richard of the Mon Repos Minibus Association said something needs to be done as soon as possible to deal with the situation before it destroyed the company.

Wednesday’s meeting agreed for all the minibus associations who were members of NCOPT and had shares in the company should write to their directors, demanding a meeting with them or face the consequences of action stipulated by their constitution.

Contacted for a comment Godfrey Ferdinand, president of NCOPT said next month a meeting will be held with the shareholders where they will be presented with an audited report of the company and new directors will be elected. He added that the reason he had not yet informed the shareholders of the meeting because a venue had not yet been finalized.

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