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Jamaica Citrus acquisition misses closing date

Published:Wednesday | November 21, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Dr Percy Miller Jr, technical director at Jamaica Citrus Growers Association, says an agreement is imminent on Juciful brand.

Jamaica Beverages Limited has missed the previously announced September 28 target date for closing its acquisition of the land and factory assets of Jamaica Citrus Growers Limited (JCGL), which is in receivership.

But technical director of the Jamaica Citrus Growers Association (JCGA) is confident that the deal will be sealed in early December.

"In two weeks, we will have something of great public interest to disclose," Dr Percy Miller told Wednesday Business on Monday, suggesting that an agreement regarding the Juciful brand is close.

JCGA owns the Juciful brand under which JCGL manufactured and marketed its products.

Wilfred Baghaloo, a director of PricewaterhouseCoopers Jamaica and agent of JCGL's receiver, confirmed Monday that the sale was yet to be finalised, but he did not respond to queries on whether issues related to the acquisition of the Juciful brand were the cause of the delay.

Jamaica Beverages took possession of the JCGL assets more than five months ago on May 4.

Earlier in the year, Baghaloo indicated that delays were associated with the process of transferring titles.

Back in August, the parties agreed on a 45-day extension to complete the transfer of title and other documentation in order to close the deal. Originally, the close of sale was slated for August 3.

Jamaica Beverages is a subsidiary of Trinidad-based SM Jaleel and Company Limited.

The pending sale includes JCGL's factory in Bog Walk, St Catherine, and the seven acres of land on which it sits.

Adjacent to the factory are two additional parcels of land comprising approximately eight and a half acres, on which a concentrate-processing plant, a chilled-juice plant, two chill rooms and three cold rooms are located. A natural spring also serves the property.

JCGL was taken over by the Development Bank of Jamaica for outstanding debt, which hired John Lee of PricewaterhouseCoopers as receiver.