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Cari-Med owner grabs Claro building - Proven loses out on deal for prime New Kingston asset

Published:Wednesday | April 23, 2014 | 12:00 AM
The Claro building in New Kingston. - File
Chairman and owner of the Cari-Med group of companies, Glen Christian. - File


Proven Investments has lost out on its bid for the Claro building in New Kingston, according to well-placed sources, who say Glen Christian is now the buyer.

Christian said Monday it was too early to speak about the deal.

It's unclear which vehicle the businessman is using for the acquisition or the reason for the investment, but Wednesday Business has been advised that the building is being retrofitted for a call centre.

Christian is in the business of pharmaceutical distribution through Cari-Med Limited. He is also the owner of Kendel Trade Corporation and Kirk Distributors. The latter company was used to acquire Kendel in 2013.

On Monday, Christian declined to expand on his reasons for buying the New Kingston property, saying: "I can't speak about that now," while an individual identifying herself as one of his attorneys commented that: "Things are in a confidential mode right now."

Digicel, which placed the 10-storey building on the market, promised a response on the transaction on Tuesday, but the information was not forthcoming up to press time.

The target property includes offices and covered parking facilities totalling 73,000 square feet.

Digicel acquired the building when it bought the operations of Claro Jamaica from América Móvil, parent of Claro, when the two swapped assets in a tri-country deal that was eventually executed in Jamaica and Honduras, but was killed by regulators in El Salvador.

The property was previously targeted by Proven subsidiary, Proven REIT Limited, for development as offices and space for a school of medicine associated with the University of Technology Jamaica, as advised by Proven REIT executive chairman Winston Hepburn and CEO of Proven Management Limited, Christopher Williams, in mid-March.

Williams said Tuesday that he had no comment on why the deal with Digicel fell through.