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Margaritaville completes acquisition of Express Catering

Published:Wednesday | October 26, 2016 | 10:00 AMSteven Jackson
Ian Dear, chairman of Margaritaville Caribbean Limited.

Margaritaville Caribbean Limited, led by Ian Dear, has acquired the minority stake in Express Catering Limited, which controls the bulk of food services at Jamaica's largest airport, Sangster International.

Margaritaville held 75 per cent of Express Catering up to August. The acquisition of "all minority shares" was executed in September.

"The opportunity to purchase the minority interest in that subsidiary was presented and it was decided to take up the offer after reviewing our projections and plans for the future. Exciting plans ahead," said Dear in a mobile text conversation with Gleaner Business.

He declined to give further details of the transaction, which was concluded in September.

Revenues from Express Catering's Sangster International operations totalled US$14 million in Margaritaville's last financial year, which wrapped up May 2016.

"No further details can be disclosed as a part of that agreement," Dear said of the acquisition.

The minority shareholder appeared to be Goddard Enterprises of Barbados, but asked directly, Dear declined to respond.

"As stated previously, I can't comment on that," he told Gleaner Business.

Queries to Goddard were unanswered up to press time.

Lincoln Eatmon and Paula Gillies-Burnett are the only listed shareholders in Express Catering, while Dear and John Massiah of Goddard Catering's operations in Jamaica are listed as two of nine directors.

In early 2012, Goddard Catering exited its catering contract for terminal operations beyond the security checkpoints - or 'post-security' as the company described it - at Sangster International Airport. The Barbadian company said then that its joint-venture partner Express Catering Limited was awarded the contract for all post-security food and beverage operations.

"The board and executive manage-ment team of Margaritaville Caribbean Group remain extremely bullish about the future earning capacity and expansion opportunities for our group, highlighting one of its subsidiaries, in particular, Express Catering," said Dear, who is chairman of Margaritaville Caribbean.

The company reported net profit of some US$182,400 on revenues of US$9.2 million for the first quarter ending August 2016. Revenues are up six per cent per cent year on year arising from food contracts with a new hotel in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

HUGE SUCCESS

Margaritaville Caribbean Group has a partnership agreement with the Wyndham Vacation Club Group to provide all the food and beverage offerings for the first Margaritaville Vacation Club in St Thomas.

"This has been a huge success, with additional locations anticipated in the Caribbean in the near future," Dear said. Some US$600,000 of revenues earned in the quarter related to the Wyndham partnership.

Margaritaville Caribbean is jointly owned by Quantum Investments Holdings Limited and Mville Investments Limited. The company and its subsidiaries operate a number of businesses, including RM Restaurant Limited, Margaritaville Turks Limited, Margaritaville Ocho Rios Limited, Express Catering, Falmouth Entertainment Brands Limited, Margaritaville St Lucia, Portside Restaurant Group, and Restaurants of the Caribbean.

In April 2014, Margaritaville Caribbean listed its preference shares and subsidiary Margaritaville Turks' ordinary shares on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com