JP acquires stake in Geest shipping line

Food and logistics conglomerate Jamaica Producers Group Limited acquired 50 per cent shareholding in Geest Shipping, a service that connects the United Kingdom to the Eastern Caribbean valued at £17 million in net assets.

The remaining 50 per cent continues to be held by Sealines Holding NV, which trades as Seatrade, a provider of reefer vessel shipping services headquartered in Curaçao.

The terms of the transaction were no disclosed.

“We haven’t disclosed the acquisition price at this time. It is a competitive industry,” said Jamaica Producers CEO Jeffrey Hall. “It will become one of the larger revenue lines in our group. It is a substantial enterprise,” he said.

JP will account for its investment as an associate company. The shipping company will keep its management team in place.

Geest, a 65-year-old company, operates five shipping vessels and transports all types of cargo. It conducts scheduled cargo shipping routes to Antigua, Barbados, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent and the UK.

“This acquisition is a key component of JP’s strategy to continue to strengthen and expand its investment portfolio in Caribbean logistics and infrastructure,” said Hall in a joint statement with President of Seatrade Yntze Buitenwerf on the acquisition.

JP’s other logistics interests include multipurpose port operator Kingston Wharves Limited and JP Shipping Services, based in the UK.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com

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