Sark Electricity sale deadline passes
AN AGREEMENT has not been reached between Sark Electricity and Chief Pleas over the valuation of the company, despite the initial deadline having passed.
In November, Sark faced the prospect of a blackout after SEL vowed to turn off the supply.
The dispute arose when the island’s price controller ordered the firm to drop prices from 66p to 52p per unit.
SEL claimed that it would no longer be able to afford to operate and said it would turn the power off.
The company said the price reduction left it unable to make a profit.
As part of a last-minute deal to prevent the power going off, the island’s government agreed to buy the business.
Three months was given to reach a heads of terms agreement with the intention to bring a finalised agreed proposal for purchase to the Easter meeting.
Sark’s Policy & Finance deputy chairman, Conseiller William Raymond, has said the two parties were still working on finalising a deal.
‘Whilst we are very conscious that the time limit specified, in the settlement agreement at the end of November between Sark Electricity Ltd and the Price Control Commissioner, has expired, I can say that professional advisers acting for both SEL and Chief Pleas are working to try to agree a basis for the valuation exercise,’ he said.
In January, the owner of Sark Electricity, David Gordon-Brown, warned he was losing patience with negotiations to sell the firm to Chief Pleas, saying: ‘It’s like pushing on a piece of string.’
He was told a deal would be struck only if Chief Pleas could afford to do so.
He added that dealing with Chief Pleas committees over the previous nine years had given him a ‘very negative view’ of the Sark government.
‘We have no desire to sell the company, but it seems that selling the company is the only way to satisfy a certain element within Chief Pleas,’ he said in January.