Tue | Sep 18, 2018

AG Chem Plant to acquire part of J Wray and Nephew

Published:Friday | January 2, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Contributed photo Managing Director of CCA, Joe Pires Jr.
File Paul Lalor, president of Insurance Company of the West Indies.
FILE Simon duQuesnay Contributed Photo Attorney Mathew Hogarth (right) has the attention of Sagicor Investments' Bianca Nam and Lithographic Printers' Simon duQuesnay at Sagicor Investments' Corporate Financing Solutions pitch at the Terra Nova hotel in Kingston on Wednesday, April 30.
FILE Martine Fontaine
FILE Graham Dunkley

AG Chem Plant Limited, a newly formed Jamaican company and a subsidiary of Caribbean Chemicals and Agencies Limited (CCA), has recently signed an agreement to acquire the Agriculture Chemical Plant division (Ag Chem) of J. Wray & Nephew, a subsidiary of Gruppo Campari of Italy.

CCA is the largest agricultural input supplier in the English-speaking Caribbean and was founded in 1967 by the late Joe Pires Snr. CCA is based in Trinidad with offices in Guyana and Suriname and has been a pioneer in agriculture for over 47 years to all the Caribbean islands. The company represents some of the largest brands in the agricultural industry, like BASF, Omex and Miller.

AG Chem Plant Limited was formed to acquire the assets of the agricultural chemicals division of J. Wray & Nephew, which include a formulating plant, land, buildings, all trade names and chemical registrations and all registrations in other Caribbean islands where 50 per cent of sales have been, for a number of years. The directors of AG Chem Plant Limited are Joe Pires Jr (chairman) and Jamaicans Simon duQuesnay, Paul Lalor, Martine Fontaine, Ollie McIntosh, Raymond Miles Jr and Bruce Levy.

Chairman of CCA Mike Toney stated that this acquisition solidifies CCA's position as the largest supplier to the Caribbean of inputs into farming.

"Our investment in this deal includes the purchase price of US $8.2 million, but when you consider taxes and duties, it is just over US$9 million that we would pay on completion of this purchase," he said. "We are confident that Jamaica and regional agriculture will improve as Caricom governments recognise the need to control their growing food import bill and save foreign exchange. Of importance is, it now also allows CCA to enter markets that it has never entered."

Managing director of CCA Joe Pires Jr explained that the acquisition of the formulating plant was a strategic step, as it allows the Jamaican subsidiary to supply the rest of the Caribbean with products that are now imported from China and other countries.

"We expect our Jamaican operation to expand its exports in the region by 50 per cent in the next two to three years and become a net foreign exchange earner in the same time period," said Pires.

"AG Chem is operated by Jamaicans and, with general manager Graham Dunkley

continuing to lead the company, we expect to be a good corporate citizen in Jamaica and the region and continue to introduce new technology to reduce our

farmers' costs. We are extremely excited for the potential of this business and foresee a successful and profitable future ahead."