Neal & Massy has pledged not to change the name of Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T) or subsume the conglomerate's brand into the Trinidadian firm, following the long-awaited conclusion to BS&T’s drawn-out takeover saga.

Of the recently ended impasse between Neal & Massy and the Barbados Securities Commission (BSC), Neal & Massy’s CEO Bernard Dulal-Whiteway revealed that after the issue dragged on for months, the company’s chairman, Arthur Lok Jack, wrote to BSC's chairman Sir Neville Nicholls asking for a chance to resolve the matter outside of the courts.

The buy-out that followed has seen Neal and Massy obtain a controlling share of 85% in Barbados' largest conglomerate, which reflects the group’s regional progress and signals the coming together of more resources and opportunities, to develop more products.

Ownership of BS&T by the Trinidad-based conglomerate is being welcomed by Barbadians, though cultural challenges and possible displacement are expected. It is expected that as soon as monies are paid to BS&T shareholders, a new entity named Neal and Massy BS&T Group Ltd will be formed within the next few months and this will be followed by an honest assessment of all BS&T companies.

Neal & Massy do not envisage changing the name of BS&T just yet however, as Dulal-Whiteway explains, “We do not envisage at this point in time to take into Neal & Massy the BS&T name. That decision was made from the time we went into the takeover.”

“BS&T is much better known in Barbados, so that we'd want to make sure the BS&T Barbados name continues because it's such a significant player.”

Meanwhile, on the heels of an outstanding 2007 financial year has arrived yet another impressive fundamental performance for Neal & Massy Holdings Limited (NML). For the quarter ended 31st December 2007, the group reported an earnings per share (EPS) of $1.15, representing a 37% improvement over the previous corresponding period EPS of $0.84.

At the forefront of this superb performance, NML achieved group Third Party Revenue of $1.4bn, which was 14.7% higher than last year's, while operating profit experienced a 27.6% improvement from $101.3m to $129.1m. to $110.4M.