Seven bids for Jamaica Beverages

The joint trustees of Jamaica Beverages Limited, JBL, have received seven bids for the business and assets of the juice and milk manufacturer.
The trustees, which put up Jamaica Beverages for sale last November, would be looking for the business to fetch at least US$4.5 million ($634.5 million) to settle a court-awarded judgment.
“We have received seven proposals, and evaluating same. I cannot comment on timelines, etc,” said Wilfred Baghaloo, a director of PricewaterhouseCoopers Jamaica, who was appointed as JBL trustee in 2017.
Owned by SM Jaleel of Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica Beverages operates from a 14-acre complex in Bog Walk, St Catherine, where it produces Juciful juices, milks, as well as Fruta juice drink. Its assets include two chill rooms with over 74,000 cubic feet of capacity, three cold rooms with over 98,000 cubic feet of capacity, and property at Bog Walk and Portmore.
JBL, which began facing financial crisis in 2016, three years after acquiring the assets, including lands and a factory at Bog Walk, St Catherine, formerly held by Jamaica Citrus Growers Limited, found itself in more difficulty in May 2017 when the court ordered the company to pay US$3.1 million ($398 million), plus another $66 million to Janet Edwards, in a workplace injury case.
The final judgment award also included interest of US$468,000 ($60.7 million) and $35 million.
Edwards, who was an employee of JBL, was shot during an attempted robbery on a property owned by the company in Montego Bay, St James, in April 2000. She is paralysed in all four limbs.

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