KINGSTON, Jamaica – On the penultimate day of the year, ownership in Hardware & Lumber Ltd (H&L) has apparently changed hands with the sale of shares numbering 47,076,054 units or 57 per cent of the company on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

The large trade amounted to over 90 per cent of market volume. The share closed $18.5, pricing the total buy somewhere in the region of $870.9 million.

Previous owners GraceKennedy had, earlier in the year, said it was selling its stake in H&L to focus its attention on its core food and financial services business.

H&L includes 10 Rapid Tru Value outlets and six AgroGrace retail centres.

Total shares outstanding for H&L are 80,842,023 units, valued on December 30 at $1,495,577,426.00, a 133 per cent improvement in unit price per share year to date.

GraceKennedy entered into a conditional agreement for the sale of its 58.1 per cent shareholding in H&L on 22 April 2015. The remaining shareholding is held by PanJam.

CEO Don Wehby said at noon today that further details would be released in disclosures to be made via the Exchange.—Lumber-shares-sold-for-close-to–1b