Local conglomerate GraceKennedy Limited said it has completed the sale of its shares in the Spanish Town Road, Kingston headquartered Hardware & Lumber Limited (H&L) to purchaser Argyle Industries Inc.

Argyle, a St. Lucian company, is a special purpose vehicle incorporated for the purposes of acquiring and holding the investor’s equity interests in Hardware & Lumber Limited.

The investors in Argyle include a group of sophisticated investors led by ABBECO INVEST S.A., a Bahamian investment company; Sterling Asset Management Limited along with its affiliates and associates, and Greystone Equity Partners Inc. along with its affiliates and associates.

In keeping with the sale agreement, GraceKennedy has divested its 58.15 per cent interest in Hardware & Lumber to Argyle at $18.50 per share, the company said in a release. The Gleaner reported last year that at $18.50 per share, GraceKennedy would gross somewhere in the region of $869 million from the sale.

GraceKennedy group chief executive officer, Don Wehby said it was not an easy decision to sell the shares. “However, this divestment is consistent with our present strategy of concentrating on the food business locally and internationally and financial services in the region,” he said.

Wehby said he felt positive about the continued growth of Hardware & Lumber under Argyle.

Hardware & Lumber currently comprises two separate divisions – Rapid True Value, a local supplier of hardware and home improvement products, and the Agro Grace business, local wholesaler and retailer of agricultural products.

There are currently 10 Rapid True Value outlets across Jamaica along with six Agro Grace retail centres.

GK Capital Management Limited was the lead broker for the transaction.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/business/20151231/grace-concludes-shares-sale-hardware-lumber