Isis Sugar Mill
Isis Sugar Mill

Keeping mill deal on table for now

A SPOONFUL of sugar helps the medicine go down, but for the Isis Central Sugar Mill, pay cuts, JobKeeper applications and more time are what’s helping them through “challenging” times.

The ICSM board has agreed to extended the end date for the proposed transaction with Almoiz Industries Limited and made some modifications to the deal in a move it says will benefit both parties over the next two months.

An ICSM spokesperson said the board advised shareholders it had met and determined that Almoiz Industries must provide ICSM with a satisfactory response to the allegations in the Government of Pakistan’s Inquiry Commission report.

The report contained allegations that Almoiz had underpaid growers and engaged in illegal taxation and accounting practices.

In the first shareholders letter from ICSM board chairman Peter Russo on the matter, he noted that the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association “has rejected the findings, conclusions and recommendation of the report”, with intentions to “share a more detailed response about the contents of the report in due course”.

The ICSM spokesperson said to allow time for Almoiz Industries to respond and for the ICSM Board to give careful consideration to any information provided, the parties have agreed to extend the End Date of the proposed transaction to July 31, 2020.

Chairman Peter Russo said the parties had agreed to modify the Scheme Implementation and Subscription Deed with regards to exclusivity, prohibited actions and break frees until July 31.

Among these changes, ICSM’s obligations not to engage with potential competing transaction proposals will not apply.

While they can now engage with any interested person, as of last Friday, Mr Russo said ICSM was not considering any competing transaction proposals.

“With these changes, the ICSM board believes that it is able to give Almoiz Industries a fair opportunity to address directors’ concerns while ensuring that it can consider any Competing Transaction proposals that may emerge and can make any important decisions about the business that may be necessary in the current climate,” Mr Russo said.

After announcing their success with the JobKeeper program, Mr Russo said the directors and CEO “unanimously agreed to a wage reduction for the 2020-21 financial year.

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