Sri Lanka’s Agalawatte employees agree to work with Browns

July 26, 2016 (LBO) – The Joint Employees’ Union for the Protection of Agalawatte Plantations has agreed to work with Browns who purchased 60 percent of Agalawatte shares from Mackwood Plantations.

The union’s convener Lakshman Kumara told LBO that their main issue of job security has been taken care of during today’s discussions with Browns officials, and they were awaiting a favorable response on other issues.

“Browns have confirmed that they bought the company and invited the employees to work under them,” Kumara said.

“They requested us not to take part in any protest or that kind of activities. They also requested us to give them sufficient time to identify the issues of the company.”

Browns Power Holdings (Private) Limited committed 304 million rupees to purchase 15,200,000 ordinary shares of Agalawatte Plantations.

However, Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission in a directive to Claridge Stockbrokers said the sales proceeds of Agalawatte Plantations must be withheld pending an investigation.

“This transaction appears to fall under the category of a major transaction for which shareholder approval needs to be obtained prior to the sale being affected,” SEC said in a statement.

“The sale of shares without due authorization of the owner of the said shares is a matter of grave concern to the SEC as it affects the credibility and integrity of the Securities Market.”

Chairman of Mackwoods Plantations, Dr Chrishantha Nonis, replying to the directive said the sale of shares was carried out with due authorization and instructions being issued to the stock broker.

Chris Nonis, says the action by the SEC in issuing a directive on a complaint made by non-shareholders, without making any formal inquiries into the matter, is highly questionable.