KINGSTON, Jamaica – GraceKennedy had earlier in the year said it was selling its stake in Hardware and Lumber (H&L) to focus its attention on its core food and financial services business.

On Wednesday Group CEO of GraceKennedy Limited Don Wehby announced the completion of the sale of its shares to Argyle, which he said included 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).

The CEO disclosed that, “in keeping with the sale agreement, GraceKennedy has divested its 58.15 per cent interest in H&L to Argyle for a price of $18.50 per share.  As previously indicated GraceKennedy’s decision to sell our shares in H&L was not an easy one, however, this divestment is consistent with our present strategy of concentrating on the food business locally and internationally and financial services in the region.”

Wehby added, “I feel very positive about the continued growth of H&L under the prospective new owners, Argyle, who are excited about the possibilities for the future.

Wehby also thanked staff of H&L and the H&L Board “for the contributions made to the company over the years and we remain committed to working towards a smooth transition to the new ownership.”

Total shares outstanding for H&L are 80,842,023 units, valued on December 30 at $1.5 billion — a 133 per cent improvement in unit price per share year to date. GK Capital Management Limited was the lead broker for the transaction concluded Wednesday.

The large trade on Wednesday amounted to more than 90 per cent of market volume.

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/UPDATE–Sterling-Asset–Greystone-Equity-among-new-shareholders-in-Hardware—Lumber