MTD Walkers PLC, a construction company mired in losses, yesterday told the Colombo Stock Exchange that businessman Ravi Wijeratne, one-time director of the company, has agreed to buy the controlling stake held by the firm’s Malaysian parent.
A stock exchange filing by MTD Walkers said Wijeratne, who holds the licence for two gaming operations in Colombo, had agreed with MTD Capital Bhd to purchase its 152,183,583 shares in MTD Walkers or 90.78 per cent of the firm’s issued shares, through a voluntary offer to be made to all the shareholders of the company.
The filing said the offer would be made in terms of the Company Takeovers and Mergers Code 1995 (as amended).
Wijeratne, who functioned as an Independent Non-Executive Director of MTD Walkers, resigned from the board this January.
MTD Walkers, which has liabilities little over Rs.40 billion, had a net asset value per share of Rs.8.83, as per the March 31, 2019, interim financial accounts. As at the same date, the firm had interest-bearing borrowings to the tune of Rs.21 billion, under the current liabilities.
The company has defaulted a listed debenture and is embroiled in a number of lawsuits with several lenders for non-payment of loans.
Wijeratne is Chairman of Rank Group of Companies, which has diverse interests in real estate development, finance, logistics, solid waste management, hydropower and wind energy and entertainment.
He owns the largest dry port in Sri Lanka, namely Rank Container Terminals Limited.
He has successfully operated Sri Lanka’s largest casino for over 18 years.