VICTORIA, Seychelles (eTN) – After the forced closure of The Plantation Club and Casino, the largest hotel in Seychelles, and after the appointment of a provisional liquidator, the majority shareholders in the holding company, Allee Development Corporation, has started the battle to protect their investments.
The first court test comes only after the hotel has been forced to close and a provisional liquidator appointed to dispose of the company’s assets has already started work. The majority shareholders, represented by Seychelles attorney Bernard Georges, brought a plaint that challenged the ex-parte order given by Judge Ranjun Perrera granting the government’s request to appoint Mauritian company Ernst and Young as provisional liquidators. They are also asking the court to reject the government’s request for the company to be wound up.
Attorney Bernard Georges asked the court to declare the appointment of Ernst and Young as provisional liquidators null and void because it did not follow a provision of the Companies Act, which bars a foreign body corporate from being appointed in that capacity. He noted that both the application from the government and Judge Perrera’s order had referred specifically to the company as the provisional liquidators. The lawyer argued that this was sufficient ground for the appointment to be cancelled.
Representing the Seychelles government, Deputy Attorney General Ronny Govinden argued that although the appointment had named Ernst and Young, the person in place was an individual, namely the director, Gerard Lincoln. In the deputy attorney general’s opinion it did not make any difference. Although the points of law quoted by Georges appeared indisputable, neither Govinden, nor Judge Perrera felt it was enough to quash the order.
Bernard Georges also moved to contest the ex-parte order to appoint a provisional liquidator. He said that this had been done simply on the government’s request without any evidence or argument that it was necessary and that it had not been shown or claimed that it was urgent. The Seychelles deputy attorney general argued that the law did not impose any such requirements.
Observers see the situation as a “fait accompli” and that the Seychelles government with its 8 percent shares in the holding company are today already getting the hotel’s company would up and the company’s assets handled by a person of their choice.