Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Go public, says Mayberry chief

Published: Wednesday July 23, 2008

MANDEVILLE, Manchester - Gary Peart, CEO of Mayberry Investments, says foreign companies are acquiring and capitalising on the success of local brands because some owners of Jamaican companies are incapable of taking their entities into the global market.

The answer, he suggests, is for local owners to sell shares publicly in order to raise capital while at the same time facilitating the retention of Jamaican ownership.

Peart alluded to several companies he described as those that 'come up lacking', all of which were established in Jamaica but are now under foreign ownership.

"The first job in creating a viable business is having a marketable idea and Jamaica does not lack this capability," Peart said. "The sought after world brands of spirits that we have built.Tia Maria, Red Stripe, Captain Morgan Black Label Rum and Appleton have all been taken to the doorstep of entry into the global market and we have come up lacking in the resources to take them further. As a result others have picked up opportunities we have created," he added.

Peart's remarks, which came during his address to the Manchester Chamber of Commerce (MCoC) monthly meeting held at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville last Thursday night, were made in the context of a transaction that will see the acquisition of Lascelles - which owns Wray and Nephew - by Trinidad and Tobago's Angostura. The deal, he says, will be finalised on July 28.

Peart outlined ways in which the trend of selling some of Jamaica's finest assets may be counteracted.

"One way to offset this is to encourage the emergence of more people who are prepared to take companies public," Peart said. "Going public gives your company an immediate, objective measure of one aspect of its value that is the price that investors will pay for your shares. When you multiply this price times the number of shares you have issued you get your company's market capitalisation, so the larger the number of people who own your stock, the larger your market capitalisation is likely to be," he explained further.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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