Jamaica Producers’ vision for its future

June 22, 2023

The amalgamation of Jamaica Producers Group and Pan Jam into the Pan Jamaica Group will form one of the largest conglomerates in the Caribbean with diverse business arms.

Talks to come together began in 2016, when Jamaica Producers exited from the Mavis Bank coffee deal but had a good working relationship with Pan Jam and sought to find a project they could collaborate on.

Speaking at Jamaica Producers annual general meeting (AGM) last week, held at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in New Kingston, Group CEO Jeffery Hall said the rationale for coming together was a question of scale.

“A major focus for us looking forward will be to look at our portfolio of businesses and concentrate on those we believe have scale. So we address scalable markets and scalable opportunities and at the same time rationalise the portfolio to remove those that don’t have the scale that we need,” explained Hall.

(Photo: Contributed)

He pointed to the fact that the Pan Jam Group is a significant player in financial services with a 30.2 per cent stake in Sagicor. That is notable, said Hall, as with that holding, it is resident here in Jamaica with a tangible net worth in the country whether it be in farming, property, ports, hotels.

“We like the idea of having a resident investor in Jamaica represented as a significant block shareholder on the board of a major financial institution. That speaks well for what that financial institution can do for this country. That is our goal, to maintain our role in governance and to support enterprise in the market with Sagicor’s position as the leading life insurer in Jamaica, leading pensions company in Jamaica, leading asset manager in Jamaica, as a leading bank, as a leading general insurer provider, as a leading cambio – a full range of financial services which we believe is so critical to Jamaica.

“Jamaica Producers has always been in the shipping business. It also began life in the banana commodity business. Commodities has also been an important part of the economic landscape of Jamaica whether its sugar, banana or bauxite. If Jamaica is to achieve its ambitions, a higher share of its GDP will have to come from services. We believe there are a range of services in which Jamaica is and can be competitive. This includes logistics which have some Caribbean nexus with our shipping line and Kingston Wharves being examples of that. Other areas of interest for us include the BPO sector (and we are very pleased to have an investment in Itel), attractions (Chukka) and tourism.

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“We believe that for Jamaicans who want to have a piece of the global services sector that has a Caribbean nexus, the Pan Jamaica Group represents that opportunity and we are pleased to be invested there,” said Jamaica Producer’s CEO.

So the vision is clear, to proliferate this nexus of touch points as the Caribbean does remain trade dependent. This sees the new Group offering housing solutions, shipping solutions, port solutions throughout the Caribbean. Of course, the financing available to these enterprises must remain strong.

There are four defining clusters that represents Jamaica Producer’s 34.5 per cent interest in the Pan Jamaica Group, which has total assets of J$115 billion and net assets of $80 billion.

Pan Jam’s real estate holdings are indeed prized asset. The Scotiabank building in downtown Kingston, the Pan Jam building in New Kingston, Manor Park — its buildings define the city’s landscape. What distinguishes it from other property managers is its chosen select clusters and the way in which it curates the environment. The new Pan Jamaica Group intends on continuing that tradition.

(Photo: Contributed)

Jamaica Producers will invest side by side with the Group and ensure the property clusters are well tenanted. The aim here is to deploy and source capital to develop infrastructure.

A prime example of that is a project to bring 15 million gallons of water a day from River Cobre to Kingston which will be a US$77 million project. This should go some way in solving the water problem in the metropolitan area of Jamaica.

An investment will also be made in a power plant at the University of the West Indies.

“Our fresh juice business is unique, it is a market leader. It is No.1 in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is emerging with leading retailers in Germany, Czech Republic, Greece and Scandinavia. We now have a pan European platform for our juices.

“In the Caribbean we are dominant with our snacks and fruit and hold a position with them in the travel retail market. Our goal with our specialty foods is to stay on the macro trends of health and fresh food consumption with our farms in Jamaica,” declared Jeffery Hall at Jamaica Producers 2023 AGM.

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