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Wednesday, 29 June 2016 20:49

Jamaica Broilers sells Port Esquivel operations for US$4M cash

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Port Esquivel, St Catherine Port Esquivel, St Catherine Image Credits:

The Jamaica Broilers Group has divested its JB Terminal operations at Port Esquivel to West Indies Petroleum Limited for US$4 million in cash and the takeover of US$18.5 million in liabilities owed to Jamaica Broilers Group.

West Indies Petroleum Limited provides bunkering services to ships which call in Jamaican ports.

The sales agreement was signed today between representatives of the Jamaica Broilers Group, West Indies Petroleum Limited and UC Rusal, operators of Windalco, which manages Port Esquivel.

The sale includes ERI Services (St. Lucia) Limited as well as its 100 per cent owned subsidiary JB Terminal (Port Esquivel) Limited which operated the group’s ethanol business and tank farm at Port Esquivel.

“This sale means that JBG is now fully aligned with our strategic plan to focus on our integrated poultry operations and to grow our business in Jamaica, Haiti and the USA. Also, we will release fixed assets from our balance sheet which was not operating at its full potential. In addition, we will have an infusion of cash and other assets which will further boost JBG’s extremely strong balance sheet,” said Ian Parsard, senior vice president of finance and operations at Jamaica Broilers Group.

He noted that the sale is not expected to have a significant impact - negatively or positively - on the group’s profit and loss account.

“When the investment is assessed over the period from 2005 to now, it shows a positive return to our shareholders on their investment.” Parsard noted.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Charles Chambers, director of West Indies Petroleum Limited, described the sale as “a tremendous transaction between his company, the Jamaica Broilers Group, UC Rusal and Windalco”.

He said the negotiations were held over an extended period, but the acquisition was the right fit for his company to be one of the main players in bunkering in Jamaica, the region and internationally.

Chambers said currently West Indies Petroleum Limited fuels cruise ships which call at the ports on the north coast. However, the current acquisition will allow for the refueling of larger cruise liners such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean, as well as large container ships such as Zim.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, who participated in the signing, endorsed the divestment, pointing out that it will broaden the reach of the Jamaican refueling company, especially with the opening of the upgraded Panama Canal and the expected increase in the number of ships passing through the Jamaican shores.

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