Sun | Sep 24, 2017

GraceKennedy goes hunting for food asset in Germany

Published:Friday | March 31, 2017 | 3:00 AM
Don Wehby, Group Chief Executive Officer, GraceKennedy Limited

GraceKennedy is planning a deeper foray into Europe with the pending acquisition of a food distribution business.

But while GraceKennedy Group CEO Don Wehby confirms the target acquisition is in Germany he would go no further, saying market disclosure rules would not allow him to reveal any new details.

GraceKennedy is a Jamaican food and financial services conglomerate with tentacles in various parts of the world, but the group has been far more adventurous with food, with reaches into the United Kingdom and Europe, North America, and the African continent. Its financial investments have so far been concentrated in its home market and the wider Caribbean.

The link between the UK and mainland Europe has got a lot more tenuous, now that the trigger for Brexit has been pulled.

GraceKennedy owns a food manufacturing business in the UK. On Wednesday, Wehby said the deal that GraceKennedy is attempting to strike in Germany is part of its efforts to recast how it does business with members of the European Union, now that the UK will no longer be a gateway to those markets.

"That thought process was really driven by Brexit and various trade agreements, and we are growing so fast that we've had to have the team doing some due diligence," Wehby said.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com