Jamaican Teas selected as preferred bidder for KIW
Jamaican Teas Limited has emerged the preferred bidder for the Government's nearly 43 per cent of KIW International, a warehouse facility at Spanish Town Road, Kingston.
The disposal is part of the ongoing programme of divestment of state assets.
Jamaican Teas bid "$57 million" for the stake in KIW, whose complex in Kingston sits in proximity to the tea maker.
"The company was advised that they were selected as the preferred bidder for the shares," said the newly released Jamaican Teas annual report. "Further to the advisory, the agent for the seller provided the company with a draft agreement. Both parties have agreed on the major terms of the agreement. At the date of signing this report, the company has not received the final agreement."
The company's offer would have beat out at least one other - that of hardware manufacturer Arc Systems, which confirmed that it had put in a bid for the facility. Arc also operates within proximity to KIW on Bell Road.
COMPLEX TO BE UPGRADED
Jamaican Teas, headed by CEO John Mahfood, previously indicated that it plans to upgrade the complex into a modern warehouse for rental purposes. The state-owned Development Bank of Jamaica invited investors in November 2015 to make an offer on the Government's stake, which also included 100 per cent of KIW's preference shares. KIW sits on 15,500 square metres (3.8 acres) of land, according to National Land Agency's iMap Jamaica.
Jamaican Teas primarily makes teas and beverages, but also operates a real estate business unit under which it currently rents out a three-unit commercial building at Birdsucker Lane in Kingston. Rentals produced income of $5.1 million for the group at year end September 2016, up from $4.9 million a year earlier.
Rental income currently represents less than one per cent of the $1.2 billion in annual revenue reported by Jamaican Teas.
During the financial year, the tea maker discontinued two of its supermarkets: Bay City Foods Limited in Montego Bay was sold for $31.5 million, including equipment, inventories and intangibles, while the Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland store, operated under JRG Shoppers Delite Enterprise Limited, was sold for $10 million.