WIOC CELEBRATES LISTING ON THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE (ECSE)
The West Indies Oil Company Limited (WIOC) celebrated its listing on the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE) with a July 7th launch event at the John E. St. Luce Building. The historic moment follows a successful initial public offering in 2021, in which the Government of Antigua and Barbuda divested 10% of its holdings in WIOC and attracted new shareholders, the overwhelming majority being Antiguan and Barbudan.
In his address, Prime Minister Browne, noted that the listing of the West Indies Oil Company on the ECSE is a historic moment which is indicative of the resilience and ingenuity of the Antigua and Barbuda people.
“This is part of a deliberate strategy to make sure that at the micro-level you have companies that are profitable, companies that are resilient, companies that are sustainable. Government cannot do it alone and we support companies like West Indies Oil Company, helping them to build capacity and become more profitable, and resilient, in turn making the overall economy more resilient and more sustainable.”
Prime Minister Browne also praised the leadership of WIOC for making the company one of the most profitable in Antigua and Barbuda. “My Government has immense confidence in the management of the West Indies Oil Company and we believe that they have the capacity to take the company to the next level.
Antigua and Barbuda has one of the largest economies within the sub-region, so the listing of an Antiguan company is important both to the ECSE and to the regional capital market. ECSE Managing Director, Trevor Blake speaking at the launch event noted that the shareholders were the main beneficiaries, as “the value of holdings will undoubtedly increase as WIOC uses the market as a more efficient source of business financing, which will enable shareholders to enjoy the benefits of capital appreciation over time.”
WIOC’s CEO Gregory Georges declared that being the first Antiguan and Barbudan company to list on the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange is a result of the vision, strategic partnerships, and hard work of a wide array of stakeholders. He stated: “Ours is a story which demonstrates that ordinary people, with a laser-focus on excellence and with a passion for performance, can do extraordinary things.”
Georges was part of the team in London in 2015 that witnessed Prime Minister Browne completing the acquisition of the shares of WIOC from the former owners, National Petroleum Limited. It was at that event that Prime Minister Browne gave Georges and WIOC’s Directors the directive to have the company listed on the ECSE.
For over 50 years, The West Indies Oil Company Limited has continued to grow, generating profits of over $26 million dollars in 2019. Despite the pandemic, the Company continued its profitable growth performance in 2020 and 2021. By offering shares to the public WIOC now benefits in several ways including access to the organized market, improved liquidity, access to capital, lower transfer costs and enhanced employee compensation.