The Malta Independent 22 January 2022, Saturday

Opinion - The truth be told - Ivan Bartolo

Ivan Bartolo Sunday, 21 May 2017, 14:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

In its desperate attempt to divert attention from the very grave accusations the Prime Minister and his Government is facing, the Labour Party has launched a concerted attack on my integrity and on a foreign investor. The Labour media and its exponents, including the Prime Minister himself, launched the attack because the company for which I work requested to submit its Annual Financial Statements later than 30 April 2017. This resulted into a suspension of trading activity on the Malta Stock Exchange.

 

Now to the facts

I founded 6PM in 2001. In 2007, 6PM Holdings plc was formed and the 6PM Group was listed on the Malta Stock Exchange. In 2011, 6PM Holdings plc had a rights issue to raise more capital which was used to reconstruct its business model. In 2015, 6PM Holdings plc launched a €13 million-euro bond that was oversubscribed by 6PM shareholders themselves. During these years, 6PM never missed a filing deadline.

On 14 December 2016, all the shareholders of 6PM Holdings plc received a voluntary public offer from Idox plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange. The offer was to acquire all the listed shares in 6PM Holdings plc. (MSE Announcements numbers – 6PM113, 6PM114 and 6PM115 all available online on the Malta Stock Exchange website).

On 19 January 2017, as outlined in the MSE Announcement Number 6PM117, the company announced that 6PM Holdings plc shareholders representing 92.95 per cent, or 19,504,635, shares had accepted the voluntary public offer made by Idox plc.

On 24 January 2017, the outgoing Board of Directors of 6PM Holdings plc received a confirmation from Idox plc that all the conditions set out in the voluntary public offer document had been fulfilled and that therefore the bid was no longer conditional.

On 24 January 2017, as outlined in MSE Announcement Number 6PM118, the company announced that the final acceptance by 6PM shareholders stood at 98.15 per cent, or 20,594,473.

On 3rd February 2017, as outlined in the MSE Announcement Number 6PM119, 6PM Holdings plc was officially acquired by Idox plc. In the same announcement, the company informed the public that Idox plc will exercise its right to squeeze out the remaining 1.85 per cent of shareholders in line with Listing Rule 11.42. Idox plc had also confirmed that, following completion of the offer and on acquiring all the shares in the company, it would apply for the de-listing of the company’s shares from the Malta Stock Exchange.

On 29 March 2017, 6PM Holdings plc (an Idox Company) formally announced that the squeeze-out had been completed and that Idox plc owned 100 per cent of 6PM Holdings plc. This was all announced through the Malta Stock Exchange website, announcement number 6PM121.

Given the timing of the transaction, on 30 April 2017, in line with listing rules, 6PM Holdings plc did not file its financial statements with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFA). The company advised the MFA to inform the authority that a delay was going to occur due to the timing of the acquisition and sequence of events. The MFA has correctly, in line with listing rules, suspended the trading of the 6PM Bond until such time that the financial statements are submitted by the company. To this effect, 6PM Holdings plc released an announcement on 19 May 2017, announcement number 6PM125.

I feel sad, disappointed and hurt. As a Maltese investor and entrepreneur, I have always been accustomed to pro-business governments. Past administrations have done everything possible to build Malta’s image and brand as a jurisdiction of international repute. We have home-grown sectors, including IT and financial services, that have become the envy of many. We have used our jurisdictional innovation to build a modern and flourishing economy. However, greed and corrupt practices have blinded this administration and risks ruining everything that has been painstakingly built up over the past 25 years.

As I have already said, Malta faces two elections: the public vote on 3 June and the corporate voting that begins on 5 June. The latter will be held – and some have already started – in board rooms in Malta and abroad. I lived through this in 2015 in Macedonia. Since 2011, I had invested in Macedonia by opening a software development company. When the government of the day was embroiled in a massive corruption story, unrest ensued and in order to protect my business interests, I drew up and began an exit strategy. However, the country changed direction and the office remained open. If it had not done so, I would have left the country. This is the choice that many companies – and I know this for a fact – are already considering.

We truly are at a cross-roads. Personal attacks aside, I am worried for Malta’s future. What has been up to today taken for granted is very much now under threat. Our vote can either risk breaking everything that we have achieved as a nation, bringing down a whole economy, or it can give a new lease of life to this country by voting for the Nationalist Party.

 

Ivan Bartolo is a Nationalist Party candidate on the 9th district. He is currently Managing Director of Idox Health (formerly 6pm)

www.bartoloivan.com

 

Timeline: 6pm Holdings

 

2008

·         11 April – Approval & filing of audited accounts year ending 31 December 2007

·         30 April – Deadline for approving & filing audited accounts

 

2009

·         28 April – Approval & filing of audited accounts year ending 31 December 2008

·         30 April – Deadline for approving & filing audited accounts

 

2010

·         30 April – Approval & filing of audited accounts year ending 31 December 2009

·         30 April – Deadline for approving & filing audited accounts

 

2011

·         30 April – Approval & filing of audited accounts year ending 31 December 2010

·         30 April – Deadline for approving & filing audited accounts

 

2012

·         17 April – Approval & filing of audited accounts year ending 31 December 2011

·         30 April – Deadline for approving & filing audited accounts

 

2013

·         11 April – Approval & filing of audited accounts year ending 31 December 2012

·         30 April – Deadline for approving & filing audited accounts

 

2014

·         11 April – Approval & filing of audited accounts year ending 31 December 2013

·         30 April – Deadline for approving & filing audited accounts

 

2015

·         11 April – Approval & filing of audited accounts year ending 31 December 2014

·         30 April – Deadline for approving & filing audited accounts

 

2016

·         11 April – Approval & filing of audited accounts year ending 31 December 2015

·         30 April – Deadline for approving & filing audited accounts

·         14 December – Receipt of voluntary bid by Idox plc

 

2017

·         19 January – 93% of shareholders accept takeover bid

·         24 January – 98.2% of shareholders accept takeover bid

·         3 February – Idox acquires 6pm Holdings

·         17 March – Commence of squeeze-out process of remaining 1.8% shareholding

·         29 March – Completion of squeeze-out process, changes to Company’s Officers & Audit Committee

·         13 April – The Board approves the discontinuance of listing

·         28 April – EGM approves the discontinuance of listing

·         30 April – Deadline for approving & filing audited accounts

·         16 May - Listing & trading suspended until 29 May 2017 due to not filing audited accounts for year ending 31 December 2016

·         19 May – Idox explains that delays in submitting audited financial accounts are due to internal restructuring and changes in processes pursuant to the recent acquisition 

 

 

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