One of the Caribbean’s largest conglomerates has spent about a quarter of a billion US dollars on three major acquisitions over the last six months.
This has been revealed by Robert Bermudez, chairman of the board of directors of the Massy group, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago but with significant assets in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, and Guyana.
In a statement released along with the unaudited consolidated financial highlights for the half-year ended March 31, Bermudez described the first half of the 2023 financial year as a “very important period”.
According to the chairman, the conglomerate spent US$244 million (BDS$488 million) acquiring controlling interests in three major enterprises, including one in the United States.
“Strategically, the Group set out in 2019 to divest non-core businesses and assets and to focus future investments on its core portfolios on Integrated Retail, Gas Products, and Motors and Machines,” the Massy chairman explained.
In this regard, he pointed out in the regulatory filing that in December 2022, Massy acquired Rowe’s IGA Supermarkets in Jacksonville, Florida for US$47 million (BDS$94 million). In January, the company spent US$57 million (BDS$114 million) to buy Air Liquide’s operation in Trinidad and Tobago, while it signed a major agreement to acquire IGL Jamaica for US$140 million (BDS$280 million).
If the IGL deal is approved by the Fair Trading Commission in Jamaica, Massy will consolidate its position as the leading LPG business in the Caribbean.
Bermudez said approval of the agreement was expected and the transaction should be closed in the third quarter of the current financial year.
“Financially, the Group continues to perform commendably,” declared Bermudez who is retiring as Massy chairman and will be replaced by Robert Riley.
He added that third-quarter group revenue from continuing operations grew by 11 per cent to US$1 billion. This was propelled by 16 per cent growth in revenue from integrated retail which is benefiting from its acquisition of Rowe’s IGA supermarkets in December 2022,” Bermudez outlined.
Group profit before tax from continuing operations grew by 17 per cent to reach US$77.2 million (BDS$154.4 million), while group after-tax profits from continuing operations increased by 19 per cent to reach US$52.5 million (BDS$55 million).
As part of the group’s centennial celebrations, the company known as Neal & Massy before its rebranding has committed to an employee share ownership initiative to ensure all employees can eventually participate in ownership of the company.
“The response has been tremendous,” Bermudez outlined in the chairman’s report which accompanied the financials.
He added that in Jamaica, all employees have already been granted their shares. (IMC1)