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Goddard sets new course

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Goddard sets new course

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BARBADOS CONGLOMERATE Goddard Enterprises Limited’s (GEL) is formalising the way it buys and merges companies.

At the same time, GEL, which recently sold its 92 per cent ownership of The West Indies Rum Distillery Limited to French interests, is also seeking to get a firmer grip on its divestment efforts.

BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY was able to confirm that on February 1, the group, which has several businesses in the region, officially installed César Gutiérrez as its first vice president (VP) of mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

Gutiérrez has been mandated to manage GEL’s M&A and divestiture activities “by collaborating with GEL’s senior team on areas such as analysis, due diligence, negotiations, integration and post-acquisition evaluation”.

“He will also manage the integration of companies into the group in the immediate post-acquisition or merger period,” the group said.

The new VP is at GEL’s Ibero Caribe in Colombia. Gutiérrez is said to have a “successful track record in executing M&A and corporate finance mandates throughout North, South and Central America ranging from planning transactions through to integrations and beyond”.

As part of its diversification strategy, GEL established Caribbean Distribution Partners in partnership with Trinidad and Tobago’s Agostini Ltd in 2015. The duo subsequently made some acquisitions, including Vemco Limited and Pepsi-Cola Trinidad Bottling Company Limited.

Vemco is the owner and manufacturer of regional brand, SWISS. Pepsi-Cola Trinidad has the rights to distribute the Pepsi Mountain Dew, Ocean Spray and 7-UP in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.

Earlier this year, GEL managing director Anthony Ali told shareholders that with 2016 having been a “pivotal year” for the group, its management “began to shift our focus from one of introspection to one of being externally focused”.

“Over the last two years we focused internally on re-organising into vertical industry channels and moved away from local country management,” he said.

“The intent is to have management concentrate on narrow lines of business to accelerate growth and attain synergies. We are pleased to indicate that this strategy is already bearing fruit. The second phase of the strategy – reduce – is geared at eliminating waste, duplicated effort and layers of complexity while pushing decision-making down to the appropriate operational level,” Ali explained.

“With this approach, we would then be able to determine which business lines represent opportunities for us to replicate – the third step in our strategy. During 2016, a significant amount of time was spent preparing the subsidiaries so that we are now in a position to target accelerated growth.” (SC)