Friday, 26 March 2021 23:14

Business tycoon Harry J gambles with his restructuring plan of fortunes Featured

Business tycoon Harry Jayawardena controlled Distilleries Company PLC yesterday executed

three share transfers to the tune of Rs.1 billion, which market analysts described as a part of the move to consolidate listed entities of Harry J, under one entity.

Accordingly, Distilleries transferred its total holdings in Beruwala Beach Hotels PLC (BBH), Balangoda Plantations PLC (BALA) and Madulsima Plantations PLC (MADU) to Melstacorp, which is a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Distilleries Company PLC.

Continuing his plans to make the Melstacorp the ultimate holding company, business tycoon Harry Jayawardena yesterday executed another share transfer to the tune of Rs.7 billion.

Accordingly, Distilleries Co. PLC sold approximately 664 million shares or 16 percent of Aitken Spence to Melstacorp Limited, the 100 percent owned subsidiary of Distilleries Co. at Rs.106.60 per share.

“As a part of the internal group restructuring process, DCSL has sold 66, 420, 425 shares of Aitken Spence PLC at Rs.106.60 per share, to its 100% subsidiary Melstacorp Limited, on the trading floor of the Colombo Stock Exchange,” a disclosure by Distilleries Co. said.

. Several market analysts were of the view that once the consolidation of listed entities under Melstacorp is completed, Harry J is likely to list the firm on the Colombo Stock Exchange as a holding company.

However, some were of the opinion that the consolidation under Melstacorp is pursued due to the recent wave of acquisition of businesses, which were given to the private sector on lease.

It was in 1992, the then Sri Lankan government, which was pro-privatisation, sold the majority stake of state-owned Distilleries Company to the highest bidder on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Previously state-owned Pelwatta Sugar Industries PLC, a company that Harry J led companies bought the controlling stake on the Colombo Stock Exchange, was taken back by the government recently, through a draconian act passed by the Parliament.


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