Sunday, January 21, 2018

Methanol Holdings CEO resigns


contract ends: Rampersad Motilal

Mark Fraser

Chief executive officer of Methanol Holdings (MHTL) Rampersad Motilal has resigned from the energy company.

Motilal, an engineer who has been CEO since 1995, was also a director on the MHTL board.  The majority of MHTL’s shares are owned by the insurance company CLICO. 

CLICO and its parent group, CL Financial (CLF), held a majority shareholding of 56.53 per cent in MHTL with CLICO’s stake amounting to 49 per cent. 

CLICO’s wealth has primarily been centred around two profitable assets—Republic Bank shares and MHTL. 

MHTL has been engaged in a three-year-long arbitration dispute with Proman Holdings, a minority shareholder, over the rights to the CLICO-owned shares which were held as collateral by the government after a memorandum of understanding was signed in January 2009 to rescue CLICO.

Motilal has been a key witness to this arbitration. A decision by the arbitration tribunal was expected by the end of April but the Express understands that a decision could be handed down by July.

The Express understands that Motilal’s contract ended last August but he had stayed on at the company on a month-to-month basis. 

The Express was unable to contact him for comment on why he chose resign this week.

A former president of the Energy Chamber (then called the South Chamber), Motilal was also a former director of CL Financial (from 2005 to 2009) and had given evidence before the Sir Anthony Colman-led commission of enquiry. 

Motilal resigned from the CLF board in April 2009. 

He had told the Commission that MHTL was encumbered by a US$1.3 billion loan from a German financier unbeknownst to the Trinidad and Tobago Government when they signed the MOU on January 30, 2009. 

He denied being a party to the sale of CLICO Energy Ltd to Proman Holdings on February 5, 2009. This sale, he told the enquiry, was done without his consent while he sat on the CLF board, which forced him to resign from CLF.

MHTL is chaired by Jageesh Siewrattan and its board members are Joseph Cassidy, Rolf Meyer-Ottens, Carolyn John, Gerald Yetming, Denyse Mehta, Volker Seebeck and Erwin Keutner.