Norman Horne Clears Air on ARC Systems

ARC Manufacturing is a separate, distinct and independent company from ARC Systems Limited. ARC Systems Limited was incorporated in 1996 as a trading company. ARC Systems was built on integrity, innovation, and investment in human capital.

Like so many other companies, ARC Systems was not immune to the financial collapse and crisis of 2007 to 2008. In fact, this was the case around the world. Steel prices plummeted from $110,000 per tonne to $40,000 per tonne almost overnight. The bottom of the building materials industry fell out. We need not look far to see the devastating impact this period of decline had on the companies and industries worldwide. Our own bauxite alumina companies came to a halt and today some plants have yet to be fully reopened.

In the United States, the steel industry was at the mercy of the government with executives clamoring for a massive stimulus to prevent the crippling of plants and layoff of employees. One executive called it “the worst economic slowdown of our lifetime.” He wasn’t exaggerating. Orders and construction were cut in half over a four-month period (1.02 million tons a week from 2.1 million tons) according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Banks and other financial institutions were crumbling with large companies such as Bear Stearns, AIG, and government-backed institutions such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on the verge of imploding. The US Government had no choice but to step in with a $700 billion bailout out package to prevent the ruin of private enterprises and the entire financial sector.

During this period of economic crisis, Arc Systems Limited stopped trading. I, however, remained the majority shareholder of ARC Systems although I was not in charge of its day-to-day operations. The company, which has long had no further intention to trade, has no assets and acknowledges some liabilities.

This year, a creditor of ARC Systems made an application to the court to wind up the company. ARC Systems sought advice from its attorneys and business consultants in relation to the matter and opted not to contest, but rather to go voluntarily into the liquidation process. It was therefore advertised that the shareholders of ARC Systems had decided voluntarily to liquidate the company and that the decision was taken because ARC Systems had not traded for in excess of six (6) years. Subsequently, an order was made by the Supreme Court to appoint an interim receiver who shall be furnished with the audited statements of the Arc Systems from 2014 to 2018 and any other information as stipulated by the order which may facilitate the work of the receiver.

The global financial crisis was a turning point for me and many other businessmen and businesswomen all over the world. Having been confronted by the challenges that we faced over a decade ago, we refocused and re-strategized to meet the changed paradigm in which we now operate. While I have had to make some business concessions, myself and my resilient team did not yield, but through all adversity, we have recommitted to serving the progress of our country.

As Executive Chairman of ARC Manufacturing Ltd, I am resolute in helping to build a stronger Jamaica as we continue to be unrelenting in our commitment to our customers, our staff, our shareholders, financiers, and suppliers locally and internationally.