Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Nestle Jamaica breaks ground on new headquarters

Published:Friday | June 10, 2016 | 6:00 AMTameka Gordon

Nestle Jamaica on Thursday broke ground for its new headquarters inside an industrial park being developed by the Cascade Group under a US$14-million ($1.7 billion) arrangement between the companies.

The industrial park spans 94 acres along the Mandela Highway the property is owned by a group headed by Cascade of which Nestle will occupy 6.3 acres under lease, Cascade CEO Fredrick Moe told the Financial Gleaner.

Cascade will construct the buildings for Nestle to occupy, said country manager of Nestle, Jurg Blaser.

The food company expects its new headquarters and distribution warehouse to be ready by April 2017. Blaser said the office space would span 800 square metres, while the warehouses/distribution hub would occupy 6,000 square metres.

"The whole investment is going to be around US$14 million," said Blaser. "The office will be a two-storey building looking towards the highway," he said, while noting that the warehouses would be at the back of the property.

The terms of the arrangement with Cascade were not disclosed.

NestlÈ has operated in Jamaica for 75 years. Last year, under a deal with the Musson Group, the Swiss-owned company exited manufacturing and will now focus entirely on distribution and marketing of its brands.

At the ground breaking, Moe said Nestle would be the first client for the industrial park.

Infinite Concrete Limited, for which Moe is managing director, "will be involved in a minor way with the construction" and will supervise the job, he said.

Last year, Nestle Jamaica sold off its dairy operation to the Musson International Dairies Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Musson Group.

Musson acquired Nestle's Betty condensed milk and Supligen food drink brands, as well the manufacturing and distribution facilities at the Bybrook factory in Bogwalk, St Catherine. Seprod has been hired by Musson to run the operations.

Nestle Jamaica will now focus on importation and distribution.

Blaser said the investment in the complex at Six Miles indicates that Nestle is committed to remaining in Jamaica.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com