Anunine Holdings buys MTD Walkers PLC

Anunine Holdings buys MTD Walkers PLC

Written by Staff Writer

10 Mar, 2019 | 9:52 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Malaysia based MTD Capital Bhd has decided to divest the entirety of its 91%  controlling stake in Sri Lanka’s MTD Walkers PLC.

The investment is being made by a Sri Lankan family-owned company for an amount between US$ 8-10 million.

The buyer according to the Ceylon Today is Anunine Holdings, led by Deshamanya Anurath Abeyratne and his family, and the transaction is said to conclude within the next few weeks. Anunine Holdings have already completed their due diligence on the company.

The Ceylon Today noted that the company had already completed 90% of the deal.

Anunine Holdings state that they will be treating all the MTD Walkers creditors and debtors equally, and promise to settle all liabilities of MTD Walkers within a stipulated period.

Two members of the board of directors of MTD Walkers PLC, namely Kumaragewattage Sharm Viraf Fernando and Yogendraprasath Sathiyaseelan, both representatives of Supreme Global, have resigned from their positions last week.

Anunine Holdings Chairman Anurath Abeyratne said its director Gayan Kalhara Hapuarachchi was appointed as an independent/non-executive director to the MTD Walkers board.

The paper quoting sources close to the company states that Executive Deputy Chairman Jehan Amratunge is due to resign within a few days, subject to the possible ownership transfer.

Independent financial watchdogs are querying if Jehan Amaratunga will satisfy any liabilities in terms of undertakings provided to the People’s Bank, prior to his resignation.

Meanwhile, several local banks sought injunctions against MTD Walkers PLC on Feb 6th, 2019 over the recovery of loans.

Published accounts reveal liabilities in the region of Rs. 18bn clearly stating that the sale price of UD$ 8mn is inadequate to settle all liabilities.

At the same time it should be noted that MTD Walkers PLC claims employment of over 4000 persons and in this context, it is hoped that statutory dues to the EPF and ETF have been paid according to legal obligations.

In the recent past, there have been instances where large amounts due to the EPF/ETF including, by various regional plantation companies sometimes in excess of SL rupees one billion have been outstanding in spite of the companies themselves having changed hands.

It is also noted that the infamous bond scam of 2015 resulted in the ETF suffering losses estimated by the Presidential Commission of inquiry as being in excess of Rs. 8.5bn.

The people’s hard earned money appears to be flippantly managed lacking professionalism, direction and commitment, whilst there have been no reported instances of legal action being taken against debtors who owe statutory payments to the EPF/ETF Department.

Foreign investors who make their way to Sri Lanka are clearly advised of the unambiguous nature of the legal requirements that are placed upon employers when it comes to meeting obligations to employee benefits and the EPF/ETF is precisely pointed out.

The onus is upon the authorities to ensure that the fundamental cornerstone of legal requirements protecting employees is adhered to in order that the people’s monies will be protected.

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