Workers snap up shares in land titles corporation

CBC

Over 270 employees of Saskatchewan's Information Services Corporation have decided to buy shares in the newly privatized version of the provincial Crown corporation that looks after land titles.

Also known as ISC, the corporation is being sold — with limits — to anyone who wants to buy shares.

Additional details on the sale were made available in a news release issued Thursday.

According to the release, 10.5 million ISC shares will be available at $14 per share. If all the shares are sold, that will generate $147 million dollars. After deducting various fees, about $136 million would be paid to the seller of the shares, which is officially the Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan, a holding company for the province.

The new, privatized, company is expecting to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in July.

According to the plan for distribution of the shares, up to five per cent of the shares are set aside for employees of ISC. The news release said there was strong interest in that and about 80 per cent of the staff will end up as owners, once the share offering is complete. Most of them are members of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union, or SGEU. Their local just signed a new three-year collective agreement with ISC, which provides for wage hikes totalling 5.5 per cent.

According to official filings, the province will retain either a 40 per cent ownership of the company or — if there is strong demand for shares and more are made available — a 31 per cent ownership.

The filings also show that ISC has a 20-year agreement with the province to be the exclusive provider of a land titles registry service. Land titles services are the main revenues of the company.

The current president of ISC is Jeff Stusek. He currently makes $275,000 per year in salary, but there is a plan to bump that up to $300,000.

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