The Star (St. Lucia) - Business Week - - GLOBAL PROPERTY MARKETS -

Canada’s largest in­de­pen­dent mar­keter of fuel and pe­tro­leum prod­ucts, Park­land Fuel Cor­po­ra­tion (Park­land), has an­nounced that it has en­tered into an agree­ment with the Bar­ba­dos-based SOL In­vest­ments Lim­ited (SIL) to ac­quire 75 per cent of its op­er­a­tions.

SOL, a pri­vately-held com­pany, owned by the Simp­son Group, is the largest in­de­pen­dent fuel mar­keter in the Caribbean, with SIL be­ing a whol­ly­owned sub­sidiary of SOL Lim­ited.

SOL sup­plies and mar­kets a to­tal of 4.8 bil­lion litres of fuel vol­ume, an­nu­ally, across 23 coun­tries in the Caribbean, and gen­er­ated US$215 mil­lion in ad­justed earn­ings be­fore taxes, de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­za­tion in the 12-month pe­riod end­ing June 2018.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment, the trans­ac­tion will re­sult in Park­land ac­quir­ing 75 per cent of the is­sued and out­stand­ing shares, in the cap­i­tal of SIL, for an es­ti­mated US$1.21 bil­lion, plus cus­tom­ary post-clos­ing ad­just­ments on a cash-free and debt-free ba­sis.

SOL Lim­ited will ac­quire 12.16 mil­lion com­mon shares in the cap­i­tal of Park­land.

“Upon clos­ing, the Simp­son Group, through its own­er­ship in SOL Lim­ited, will own ap­prox­i­mately 9.9 per­cent of the is­sued and out­stand­ing shares in Park­land, and its in­ten­tion is to re­main a long-term in­vestor in Park­land,” Park­land said in a state­ment.

The state­ment added that the re­main­ing 25 per cent of the shares out­stand­ing in SIL are sub­ject to the Mi­nor­ity Pur­chase/Sale Right, to which Park­land may elect to ac­quire, or SOL Lim­ited may elect to sell, the re­main­ing shares in the cap­i­tal of SIL.

“The ad­di­tion of SOL will ex­tend our global sup­ply reach and en­able us to con­tinue to build our sup­ply ad­van­tage to ben­e­fit our en­tire busi­ness,” said Park­land’s pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Bob Espey.

“With its in­te­grated sup­ply chain, backed by an ex­ten­sive dis­tri­bu­tion net­work, fortress as­sets, a pre­mier brand port­fo­lio and an ex­cep­tional team, SOL has built a strong mar­ket po­si­tion with un­par­al­leled re­gional scale. To­gether, Park­land and SOL cre­ate a sig­nif­i­cant North Amer­i­can and Caribbean growth plat­form,” he said.

“We are de­lighted to part­ner with the Simp­son Group, and wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to work with SOL’s strong man­age­ment team, to op­ti­mize and grow SOL’s in­dus­try-lead­ing re­tail and sup­ply net­work, through our com­bined scale and ex­per­tise,” the CEO added.

The founder of SOL, Sir Kyf­fin Simp­son, said he was “ex­cep­tion­ally pleased to an­nounce the com­ing to­gether of Park­land and SOL, which will en­sure an ex­cit­ing and dy­namic fu­ture for ev­ery­one”.

“With a de­sire to con­tinue to de­velop and grow the busi­ness, through ex­pan­sion in new ar­eas, I am ex­tremely blessed to bring in our good friends Park­land of Canada to the Caribbean.

“I have long ad­mired Park­land, as a com­pany, with their fu­tur­is­tic vi­sion and en­ergy, and I have been tremen­dously im­pressed with Bob Espey’s strong lead­er­ship, along with his ex­cep­tional man­age­ment team,” Sir Kyf­fin added.

He said that he is “truly con­fi­dent that this com­ing to­gether with the fan­tas­tic team at SOL will be a com­ple­men­tary blend of cul­tures, ideas, tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion”.

“I am con­vinced that Park­land and SOL are per­fectly matched to de­velop new and ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, with re­newed en­ergy that will pro­vide ex­cel­lent av­enues for the de­vel­op­ment of our peo­ple that will, in turn, en­hance our cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and open new doors for great syn­er­gies and im­proved lo­gis­tics,” he added.

“With 43 mil­lion peo­ple and a gross do­mes­tic prod­uct of more than US$200 bil­lion, this is the per­fect time to take ad­van­tage of the tremen­dous op­por­tu­ni­ties that abound in the Caribbean.”

Park­land Fuel Cor­po­ra­tion’s Pres­i­dent and CEO, Bob Espey, said, “To­gether, Park­land and SOL cre­ate a sig­nif­i­cant North Amer­i­can and Caribbean growth plat­form.”

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