Guardian Holdings seals US$75m investment agreement

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday December 15, 2010 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund, formally sealed its US$75 million equity investment in Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL) in an event attended by Trinidad & Tobago’s Minister of Finance, the Hon. Winston Dookeran and the Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Ewart Williams.

Minister Dookeran described Guardian as a major financial conglomerate and noted that “this expression of international investor confidence by the private sector arm of the World Bank is a clear indication of the belief in the Trinidad and Tobago financial sector”.

“With IFC as a strategic partner, GHL is expected to have a more diversified risk exposure, a wider customer base, and stronger financial and operational capabilities.”            –Group Chairman, Arthur Lok Jack

IFC considers itself a long-term partner, says Giri Jadeja, IFC’s Senior Manager for Global Financial Markets in Latin America and the Caribbean,  “We look at the broader picture and what we believe we have. In Guardian we have a fundamental institution that is very well managed in an environment that is well regulated.”

Group Chairman Arthur Lok Jack reaffirmed the transaction: “With IFC as a strategic partner, GHL is expected to have a more diversified risk exposure, a wider customer base, and stronger financial and operational capabilities.” 

GHL is one of the Caribbean’s largest insurance companies and an existing IFC client. This support will allow GHL to expand access to a wider range of insurance services and move into less developed markets. Additionally it will facilitate future growth and acquisition in a region where few businesses and individuals have insurance policies and where some banks and insurance companies have struggled in the wake of the financial crisis. 

The investment includes a US$56.25 million investment for IFC’s account and an US$18.75 million investment from the IFC ALAC Fund, which is managed by IFC Asset Management Company. 

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