Distilleries – Melstacorp ‘Arrangement’ still in limbo

May happen this week according to informed sources

Several inquiries have been made by shareholders of the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka regarding the swap of Distilleries shares for those of Melstacorp Ltd. finalized by an ‘Arrangement’ approved both by shareholders and the Commercial High Court of Colombo.

Under this arrangement, the swap had been concluded from Oct. 1 and Melstacorp has become the holding company of Distilleries, according to a Stock Exchange filing by Distilleries earlier this month.

However, the physical transfer of shares to and from shareholders has not yet taken place. In its Nov. 1 Stock Exchange filing, Distilleries said that this would take place when approvals are received from the Colombo Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka to transfer Distilleries shares from shareholder accounts to Melstacorp as a private transfer and Melstacorp shares are listed.

Well informed sources said yesterday that the arrangements would be concluded possibly this week with Melstacorp listed. Regulatory approval for private transfer of shares must be obtained from the SEC and this too is likely within days.

"The depositing of Melstacorp Ltd. (shares) to the CDS accounts of the shareholders will take place once the above approvals are received," Distilleries said in the filing.

It further said that company has made an application to the SEC for the transfer outside the trading floor of the CSE (private transfer) of 300 million Distilleries shares in consideration for the allotment of 1,200 million new shares of Melstacorp to shareholders of Distilleries as at Sept. 30.

"The board of Distilleries and Melstacorp with the support of officers of the SEC and CSE is taking their best endeavors to ensure that the planned transfer of shares would soon take place," the filing published on the CSE website said.

However, there has been no further information on the subject with Melstacorp still unlisted and Distilleries shares remaining in the CDS accounts of shareholders who have agreed to the swap.

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