Neal & Massy Pulls The Plug On Almond Beach Village

Gervase Warner CEO of Neal & Massy

The Board of Almond Resorts Inc (ARI) confirmed today at a Special Meeting of Shareholders that Almond Beach Village will be closed at monthend. The news of the closure should not come as a surprise because it was hinted at in recent weeks by senior Neal & Massy personnel. It was confirmed at the meeting today that  Scotiabank – after several loans arrangements – pull the plug. There is the good news that the other Almond properties will likely be sold as going concerns.

The closure of Almond Beach Village will be a massive blow to the tourism sector and economy of Barbados. Over 500 employees on the breadline with the official employment rate posted at 10%+ gives good reason for a national response. The shareholders present at the meeting today viewed unaudited financials up to end of December 2012 – huge losses, negative cashflows and deep erosion of shareholders equity makes the decision to close a no-brainer but…

It is interesting Warner (CEO of Neal & Massy) took the time to stress to shareholders today that the aggressive expansion strategy by the Ralph Taylor led Board in 2006 over-leveraged ARI. He qualified his statement by stating no one could have predicted the global economic meltdown which has led to the financial difficulty ARI is experiencing.  BU wonders why a short 5-years ago when Ralph Taylor and company made the decision to expand there was no vision to upgrade the existing plant. It was a poor decision by Barbados’ leading hotelier and his other board members.

The other notable occurrence at the Special Meeting was the presentation of Mia Mottley who represented her father on a proxy. Mottley must be given kudos for finding the time to lend her voice to another cause on the side of the people. BU cannot do justice to her eloquent delivery in written form. She explained to the Board how important the ARI product to the economy of Barbados. She used the analogy that the closure of the Almond Beach Village is to be likened to a hurricane hitting the economy of Barbados.     She suggested that the psyche of Barbadians must be managed carefully given consideration to how the closure is likely to be received. She reminded the CEO of Neal & Massy that it is a company with other businesses operating in Barbados. The analogy used by Mottley when she reminded the room of of the time Barbadians boycotted a Test match was misunderstood by Warner but not by the Barbadians present.

The question on the lips of many is how is government going to respond given the gravamen of the matter. So far discussions between Neal & Massy and the Barbados government has not borne any positive results. Say what you will this DLP government has had to deal with a few challenging matters.

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No Comments on “Neal & Massy Pulls The Plug On Almond Beach Village”

  1. JB April 5, 2012 at 10:13 AM #

    @ You should know the facts. You have your ears to the ground! I guess too many people tied up in this. But be fair! Don’t go after the Trinidadians when you should know this is a homegrown issue.Let us stop burying our heads in the sand and realize we have serious problems in this country. This behaviour and all its cliquism is sinking this country.The chickens have come home to roost.!.

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  2. Hants April 5, 2012 at 11:06 AM #

    JB wrote “Don’t go after the Trinidadians”.

    Trinidadians own Almond Beach Village.

    Only a village idiot would own a business ad not monitor its performance and profitability.

    The pattern I see with Clico and now with Almond is that the owners were happy when the Bajan CEOs were sending them buckets of cash prior to the recession.

    Then when the companies started failing they left them to self destruct and now looking for Government bailouts.

    I feel sorry for the employees who now have to go home and hope for a miracle.

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  3. Steupse! April 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM #

    Perleeze!! Why should anybody, easpecially a private sector company, hang on to a company that has lost millions, owes millions more, and be forced to keep the same management that drove it into the ground. This is not a T&T issue, as JB has stated, and Island Gal has it right. Taylor had absolute authority. Nobody at Almond could suggest anything to him, because he always knew better. His hubris is unbeliveable. When one person has such authority that not even his owners could question without being accused of racism, then the responsibility for the demise of Almond rests fairly and squarely on the shoulders of that person. It is incredible, and unfortunately a measure of their justified desperation that employees would consider taking a pay cut to stay at the hotel under Taylor’s leadership. The late Clive Jenkins, a trades union leader in the UK once said in a similar situation, “You bloody well need saving from yourselves!” You will just be pawns in another pocket-stuffing exercise. Steupse!

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  4. old onion bags April 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM #

    You all talking CRAP..Ralph Taylor knows this tourism industry BACKWARD OUT.Nothing but jealousy in here for a black man who started out as a bell hop at ASTA hotel and worked his way up to owning hotels in St.Lucia ,construction companies and more…..
    Can you tell me how a man 40 year + in the hotel industry with a staff he personally bought everywhere with him…would not understand the importance of refurbishing a hotel….BULL SHIT…
    The man has been able to get his staffs confidence to invest in the hotel..the morale up there was unequaled..and now some of you wid your jealousy and classicism choose to paint him negatively..BULL SHIT I say.
    Ralph may have his personal issues…but I know he is a top class hotelier.
    I give him that..

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  5. islandgal246 April 5, 2012 at 11:43 AM #

    I wondered why BS&T never pulled the plug on the good Tailor, I heard that he sewed their uniforms and sewed them well that he had their balls squeezing in their pants if they made a sudden move to remove them. The Tailor also had friends in high places it seems and was an excellent spinner of yarns. He was political paling cock backing those he thought would prolong his power. Well all good things must come to an end and sifting through the dust will give clues to those who want to know what was really going on. There is a paper trail and as John Denver sang…Follow me where I go, what I do, who I know Make it part of you to be a part of me Follow me up and down all the way and all around Take my hand and say you’ll follow me

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  6. old onion bags April 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM #

    @David
    @Onions
    Why would Neal & Massy do as you suggest?
    This is a company which currently owns a healthy chunk of Bajan enterprise. Are Barbadians so stupid that we would allow Neal & Massy other businesses to strive if what you suggest were to occur?
    *********************************
    Beware Baje ! if Trinidad wanna shut down SBI..go ahead…ICB go ahead ..StarCom go ahead…Nation News..go ahead….BNB…go ahead.. Brydens .go ahead, Did I miss any ? My Point >.>….NUFF people go be outta WUK…..we threading dangerously people ..(not D Trinidadians in here doa),

    Trinidad and ToBADOES…..we cumin

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  7. old onion bags April 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM #

    The word is Neocolonialism…look it up Franz Franon…UWI..recall.

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  8. old onion bags April 5, 2012 at 11:57 AM #

    Neocolonialism is the practice of using capitalism, globalization, and cultural forces to control a country (usually former European colonies in Africa or Asia) in lieu of direct military or political control. Such control can be economic, cultural, or linguistic; by promoting one’s own culture, language or media in the colony, corporations embedded in that culture can then make greater headway in opening the markets in those countries. Thus, neocolonialism would be the end result of business interests leading to deleterious cultural effects

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  9. Steupse! April 5, 2012 at 2:58 PM #

    There you go Old Onion Bags, finally playing the race card. Taylor knows the tourism industry inside and out, the hotel industry too, for sure. So how come this doyen of management, this superb business strategist, lead the Almond group into such massive losses and debts? There has to be another side to this and that is a road that you don’t want to travel. Greed, incompetence and hubris are what brought Almond to its knees. Steupse!

    Like

  10. old onion bags April 5, 2012 at 4:38 PM #

    Definitely …there got to be another side to this …and nobody is talking…which seems strange to me. Also, where are the financials ? As once a business man myself…Neal and Massey’s behavior is not sounding right either, no one invests that kinda money…..and allow the plant to run to ruins? I could understand that with Sam Lords and T.Grant, but not NM.
    On the other hand, Taylor know his stuff…he is single handedly responsible for most our good tour business, the man got good good contacts overseas.No something wrong….no local CEO manages NM fairs with a free hand.get that right.Do you remember Geddes Grant ? Think.OK
    Bruds Onions don’t play no race card….is a class ting nowadays.

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  11. David April 5, 2012 at 4:47 PM #

    In light of the financial state of the company it is not unusual for such to impact the completions of financials. In the case of ARI the financials (unaudited) up Dec 2011 are with the FSC.

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  12. David April 5, 2012 at 6:09 PM #

    Interesting to listen to President of the Barbados Hotel Association singing to all the benefits of Almond. It therefore begs the question why the hell the management would not have placed the revamp of the plant as a priority. What folly!

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  13. no-way-back April 5, 2012 at 6:48 PM #

    Who or which company made significant income from Almond’s business, as fees or commission?

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  14. old onion bags April 5, 2012 at 6:51 PM #

    Don’t tell me a management company ?

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  15. Observing (and learning) April 5, 2012 at 6:53 PM #

    @david
    To call it folly is being nice. Was there this past month and saw firsthand, plus overheard the complaints. Taylor may have had a vision but he clearly lacked a backup plan or escape strategy. Planning should have foreseen or provided for at least some of the causes for the failure. Again, will we ever be “informed” of the full “truth?”

    Like

  16. islandgal246 April 5, 2012 at 7:29 PM #

    Ole Onions you like yuh know de man real good and how he know the industry Backwards out LOLL and all that Bull shitting.

    Like

  17. The People's Democratic Congress April 5, 2012 at 8:48 PM #

    Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Mr. Colin Jordan, ought to hang his head in shame.

    In relationship to the ongoing national discussion on the imprnding closure of the Almond Beach Village Hotel, he is being reported in the Weekend Nation Newspaper (Thursday April 5, 2012, as saying that: “When you factor in those persons who have children, this could affect a good 1500 persons or more”.

    According to the said Weekend Nation Newspaper article he also supports some form of government intervention via tax concessions and electricity subsidy.

    While it is true that the likely closure of the Almond Beach Village will have significant social and financial repercussions, it is absolute foolishness for Jordan to be hiding behind children in defence of the sustaining of a hotel that has been clearly badly mismanaged over the years.

    No serious investors are going to continue investing substantial sums of money into what may be described as a loss-making venture any where anytime.

    This growing culture of using excuses to get already inept and wasteful governments to bail out hotels and other badly managed inefficient businesses has got to stop as well.

    The fundamental role of a government of Barbados must be to provide internal and external security for citizens and visitors alike – provide a significant measure of social and welfare infrastructure for citizens and visitors (citizens and visitors being made to pay for such services where really necessary) – to provide a measure of foreign affairs representation of the country and the country’s citizens overseas – to provide for a balance between the rights and freedoms of individuals citizens and the duties and responsibilities of those citizens, and all of those within the context of ensuring the integrity of the basic functions of the government, all within the context of a system of administration of justice.

    Hence, it is an entire folly to think that the government role is to be bailing out of hotels, businesses that have clearly been badly mismanaged,on some pretense that the social fall out would be significant, when already there exist a social safety net already in place in Barbados that can minimize such social fallout.

    What arrant nonsense.

    Mr. Colin Jordan GET LOST.

    Finally with regard to what is attributed to the Barbados Chamber and Commerce and Industry President, Andy Armstrong, in the said Weekend Nation article, he has got it right on this issue. The private sector must be apprehensive about the Government’s involvement in Almond Beach Hotel in a big way. And yes he also dealt with the fact that they are aware that the government wasted millions and millions of dollars in the Gems project..

    So who really wish to see government getting more and more involved in what is a private sector driven sector? Who??

    PDC

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  18. ras April 5, 2012 at 8:53 PM #

    Heywoods Hotel was started in the early1980’s by the DLP with a loan from the World Bank . The DLP lost elections soon after and the project was completed by the BLP.
    In the 1990’s , the IMF pressured the Government of Barbados was to sell Heywoods Hotel and other state owned operations
    In 1994 the BLP sold Heywoods to the BS&T (Barbados Shipping and Trading ) for US $17 million ( $ 34 million BDS) .The BLP used the money to repay World Bank loans.
    Heywoods was later renamed Almond Beach Hotel by the BS&T.

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  19. old onion bags April 5, 2012 at 9:07 PM #

    Thanks for the history ras !

    Like

  20. Blogger2012 April 5, 2012 at 9:14 PM #

    I Have been informed that a gentleman associated with Almond Beach had a company in Miami from which things were sourced for Almond Beach. Who is that gentleman? This is another sordid affair.

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  21. ras April 5, 2012 at 9:27 PM #

    Barbados is sinking because we are following the misguided policies of the IMF .
    Barbadians will continue to suffer if we continue to take the bad medicine prescibed by the IMF.

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  22. ras April 5, 2012 at 9:44 PM #

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  23. no-way-back April 5, 2012 at 10:05 PM #

    To what value per share did N&M reduce its investment in ARI?

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  24. no-way-back April 5, 2012 at 10:11 PM #

    Someone purchased 10,000 ARI shares at $0.50/share this week – speculation or informed action?

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  25. balance April 5, 2012 at 10:55 PM #

    onions you seem to forget that to thunderous applause from the frenzied crowd in hhaggatt hall that mr thompson promised to catspraddle the sale of bsandt to neal and massy if the ink on the sale document didn’t dry by the time he won the elections. methinks that the ink did dry.

    Like

  26. David April 6, 2012 at 12:17 AM #

    Please continue to make comments HERE on the Almond Saga.

    Like

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