ANSA McAL is making a bid for full control of Banks Holdings Limited (BHL) Barbados' largest beverage conglomerate. If successful, the transaction will add to the portfolio of Caribbean beer brands held by the T&T-based conglomerate which currently includes Carib, Stag, Mackeson and Red Stripe.
ANSA McAL's unconditional $5.20 per share offer to BHL shareholders betters an offer of $4 a share from Ambev, a major international beer and beverage producer headquartered in Brazil with operations across the Latin America and the Caribbean.
BHL's directors have advised shareholders not to make any decisions on giving up their stake in the company until a valuation of the shares is conducted.President and CEO of ANSA McAL Barbados Nicholas Mouttet described the conglomerate's offer, which was made last Monday, as "best for Banks, best for Barbados."
He said: "The acquisition of the BHL shares will permit the consolidation of complementary businesses, namely the enterprises of ANSA McAL, with that of the enterprises of BHL and permits the execution of the very exciting business development plans for BHL."
Mouttet said the history and practice at ANSA McAL with acquisitions such as Brydens and Stags means that at the close of the transaction BHL will remain a stand alone business with "the Banks name, iconic value and headquarters unchanged."A release from ANSA McAL said the global reach of the group is continuing to expand and its partnership with Heineken provides access to technical expertise and a global network.
"ANSA McAL intends to utilise Barbados' location, quality of people and management expertise to expand the Barbados-based production entities into regional champions. The plan is to grow and accelerate the development of the manufacturing platform in Barbados and enhance competitiveness, this supporting government policy as articulated in the National Strategic Plan 2006-2015."
BHL owns Banks (Barbados) Breweries Limited, Barbados Bottling Company Limited and Barbados Dairy Industries Limited. Its range of beverages includes leading international brands produced under license such as Coca-Cola, Sprite and Guinness and originals like Frutee, Tiger Malt, Pinehill juices and milks and Banks Beer.
Ambev, through its subsidiary SLU, recently increased its stake in BHL to 40 per cent, triggering a takeover bid.
Commenting on the offer, Eduardo Lacerda, vice-president responsible for Ambev's Central American and Caribbean operations, said: "We want to expand our operations in the Central America and Caribbean area and we see Banks as a brand and Barbados as an opportunity for investment.
"We have two objectives here: to develop Banks and to keep Banks as the local undisputed leader and keep on growing as a hub for exports for the Caribbean and Central America and even other countries that are close too."