3 APRIL 2002
While trading at the Malta Stock Exchange was, by and large, business as usual yesterday morning, one deal in particular stood out above the rest for the sheer value it represented Lm462,000.
The trade was the product of a deal between Gee Five and Middle Sea Valletta Life Assurance, which saw Gee Five selling 770,000 Plaza Centres shares to MSV effectively rendering MSV the Plaza Centres majority shareholder.
The block of shares sold to MSV amounts to an 8.1 per cent shareholding of the equity, which, when added to MSVs previous shareholding of 14 per cent, makes for a 22.1 per cent overall MSV shareholding.
Speaking to the Malta Financial and Business Times yesterday, Gee Five Director Joe Gasan explained that the deal was a normal transaction and is, in no way a reflection on the company. In fact, Mr Gasan is to remain on a director of Plaza Centres, as the sale constituted a portion of Gee Fives shareholding and not its entire stake.
Mr Gasan put the deal down to a simple matter of Gee Five decreasing its shareholding and MSV increasing its interest, since both the seller and buyer were previous Plaza Centres shareholders.
While Mr Gasan was less reluctant to delve into the reasoning behind the sale, he did stress that Gee Five was one of the original Plaza shareholders and when the Plaza had listed itself on the Malta Stock Exchange, it had sold a portion of its stake then as well.
Comments on the deal from Plaza Centres and MSV were not forthcoming yesterday.
MSV is owned by Middlesea Insurance, with a 51 per cent shareholding. Bank of Valletta holds a further 39 per cent, while Munich Re holds the remaining 10 per cent.
Taking the full weight of yesterdays deal into account, Middlesea Insurance, itself listed on the Malta Stock Exchange, now holds majority interests in two of the 11 equities listed on the Exchanges official list.