The Antigua and Barbuda and parts of northeast Caribbean are now coloured “Harris” with the Barbados-based paint-maker’s buyout of the financially troubled Antiguan paint manufacturer Lee Wind Paints Ltd. – winning for the Harris Paints Group sole manufacturing rights in the Leeward island and increased export market share further north.
Chief executive of the Harris Paints Group Ian Kenyon, is promising a new factory to replace the closed Lee Wind facility, located at the Osbourn industrial estate, just on the outskirts of the VC Bird International Airport.
The Lee Wind acquisition also opens up export markets in the British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, and Turks and Caicos, Kenyon said.
Over the past six years, the Harris Group has seen consistent “profitable market growth” across its regional operations, the company said in a statement.
In stark contrast, Lee Winds Paints’ began to go off-colour through most of the decade, as the lone paint-maker in Antigua and Barbuda sought protection from paint imports, struggled to pay staff on time, appealed to the government in St John’s for financial support and even courted the centrally planned Cuban economy as would-be market.
“We are very optimistic about our future as we have built very strong springboards for growth with our investments in infrastructure and have a very exciting portfolio of new product and service innovations ready and primed to launch over the next few years,” said the Harris Group CEO.
And the firm is churning its profits into a new mix of technical and business process upgrades, the company disclosed.
This year the Harris Group introduced a new state-of-the art enterprise resource planning software that links up all Harris Paints’ factories and functions across the Caribbean, “providing improved business efficiency and a comprehensive digital platform that will strengthen their marketing capability”, the Harris Group statement said.
The acquisition of Lee Wind Paints, follows the invitation of NOVA, a prestigious, international association of major independent paint manufacturers with a ranking by combined turnover, in the top ten global coatings suppliers, the company announced.
For Harris to join its elite Paint Club, “Harris had to be voted in by other paint companies as the leading paint supplier in the Caribbean.”