Gopee-Scoon: Seprod, AS Bryden merger boost to Caricom single market

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon.

Jamaica-based Seprod Ltd’s acquisition of AS Bryden and Sons Holdings underscores the importance of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said on Tuesday.

It also strengthens the competitiveness of the regional manufacturing sector, she said.

“The announcement affirms the objectives of the CSME,” the minister said in a release, after a meeting with executives of both companies.

“The size and scale allowed through mergers and acquisitions can serve to make us more competitive in the global marketplace.”

Seprod CEO Richard Pandohie

The minister was briefed on the benefits of the acquisition during the meeting with outgoing AS Bryden chairman Ian Fitzwilliam, Seprod chairman Paul B Scott, and Richard Pandohie, the CEO of Seprod and interim CEO of AS Bryden.

Gopee-Scoon said the acquisition brings together two “very strong, high-performing brands.”

“This deal is further proof that the regional private sector is dynamic – constantly alert to opportunities across the region. At times, this means the merging of interests as we are seeing with the Bryden/Seprod initiative,” she said.

“I look forward to working with Seprod and other Caricom counterparts to help our regional manufacturing sector to identify market opportunities internationally to expand the region’s presence in international markets.”

On May 4, Seprod and AS Bryden announced the acquisition that makes Seprod one of the leading integrated manufacturing and distribution group in the Caribbean. The deal was expected to be closed by May 31, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

AS Bryden chairman Ian Fitzwilliam

Annual revenue of an estimated US$500 million is expected to be generated for the merged group which has interests in the food, pharmaceutical, premium beverage, hardware and industrial sectors.