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Medical Associates Hospital & Knutsford Court Hotel To Be Transformed Into A State-Of-The-Art Health District – Part 4 The Business Opportunity – Medical Tourism Expansion



JAMPRO, the Jamaican Government’s investment agency, is seeking international collaborations in order to improve medical infrastructure and services in the island with the aim of climbing in the rankings for medical tourism.

Medical tourism is the industry which seeks to encourage people who reside in other countries to come to the island both for excellent medical care in a range of specialties, as well as sun, sea, sand and the warmth of the people of the island.

A PWC report forecast that the medical tourism market would value US$125 billion by 2021 while the wellness market could reach US$808 billion. Internationally, Thailand and India are renowned medical tourism destinations, with millions travelling annually for affordable medical care.

Three known participants in the Jamaican medical tourism industry are the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC), Prosurgicare Services Limited and the Carnegie Hand Institute.

Heart Institute of the Caribbean is described as the first and only premier cardiovascular hospital in Jamaica and the Caribbean at large, which also offers telemetry service with various branches across Jamaica.

HIC is a full diagnostic centre and medical clinic which aims to provide fast, effective, and affordable treatment for all cardiac and cardiac-related illnesses that need urgent treatment by certified specialists. It has an 11-bed intensive care unit. HIC has practice partners across the Caribbean.

Prosurgicare Services Ltd, which is located in Kingston, is a plastic and aesthetic surgery practice headed by Dr Jan Hoctritt. Dr Hochtritt is a German board-certified double specialist with over 20 years of experience. As a general and plastic surgeon, he specialises in aesthetic surgery, breast reconstruction including modern microsurgical techniques, as well as hand and wrist surgery. His skills have assisted a broad range of patients — from cancer survivors and deformed persons to aesthetic patients seeking to augment their beauty.

The Carnegie Hand Institute located in Kingston is headed by Dr Cecil Aird and provides specialised services in the diagnosis, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of the hand and wrist.

JAMPRO notes that there are also investors in the area of medical training for the industry.


In international medical tourism rankings Jamaica is highly rated for the beauty of the island, but scores low overall on medical infrastructure.

The Medical Tourism Index 2020-2021, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the medical travel industry, ranks American perceptions of 46 international health-care destinations, providing insight into how consumers view 41 criteria across three primary dimensions including destination attractiveness, safety, and quality of care.

For the destination criterion, Jamaica ranks 33rd out of the 46 destinations. For the medical tourism industry, it ranks 25. For quality of facilities and services it ranks 44 out of 46 destinations.

Carol Straw, manager of tourism & services at JAMPRO, informed that policy is being developed around which industry expansion can occur.

She stated, “Jamaica, with its established infrastructure for tourism and its highly qualified medical personnel, is well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by medical tourism. To enable the destination to improve its rankings internationally, there are several actions that are happening or will be taking place,” including liaising with international experts.

Straw said that, with regards to developing the ecosystem for medical tourism to thrive, “we will continue our efforts to identify more local and international players in the medical tourism field who can help the country to grow its own infrastructure. A medical tourism policy has also been drafted for discussion by the Government; this will contribute to creating the necessary framework for medical tourism to grow in Jamaica”.

At the same time, she outlined that the island will see accreditation from new bodies. She said, “While the facilities that are in Jamaica are good, it is important to secure international accreditation to gain the confidence of the medical tourist. The popular accreditation is offered by the Joint Commission International, however, there are other accreditation options available.”

One such option is Temos International, a European accreditation body that provides a more cost-effective option than the Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation.

Straw said, “This agency has facilitated several sessions (webinars and face to face sessions) with the Jamaican medical community to formally introduce accreditation via this body. Through our work with Temos, we have focused on continuous quality improvement (CQI) in providing high-quality, safe, and competent care for patients, with the best available standards and the best-expected outcomes.

The JAMPRO executive expressed a concern about financing for industry development. She told the Business Observer, “A large part of developing the industry is in the financing. This will enable our doctors to take advantage of the accreditation processes and the opportunities that present themselves in the sector, and develop support personnel such as specialised nurses who help with the delivery of health care. JAMPRO is actively seeking donors who are willing to establish partnerships with local investors.”

At the same time, Straw stated that it is also critical to facilitate investment in health-care workers. Specialist doctors need the support of nurses, laboratory workers and other specialist staff in the build out of their operations.

She concluded that JAMPRO continues to work with local investors who are operating pre-med schools or who are in the process of formalising and building out their operations.


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Businessuite News24

Pan Jamaica Group Limited (PJAM) Divests Ice and Water Business in the Dominican Republic



Pan Jamaica Group Limited announces the successful divestment of Grupo Alaska S.A., a leading producer of ice and bottled water products in the Dominican Republic owned by Grupo Frontera, a 50/50 holding company held by Pan Jamaica and Norbrook Equity Partners Limited. Grupo Alaska S.A., which has manufacturing and distribution operations in Santo Domingo and Punta Cana and employs more than 300 persons, was sold to Diesco Industries Limited an international group with a regional focus on the business of bottled water.

Pan Jamaica Group Limited (PJAM) Expands Fresh Juice Holdings in Europe
Pan Jamaica Group Limited announces the acquisition of APA Processing BZ, S.L.U. (‘APA’), a fresh juice processing facility in Barcelona, Spain which will be held by the Group’s joint venture juice company, CoBeverage Lab S.A. The acquisition of APA is expected to provide additional high pressure processing capacity to the Group’s Pan European juice group, The Juicy Group, which has facilities in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Juicy Group offers a wide range of cold-pressed fresh juices and makes use of advanced ultra-fresh and high- pressure processing technology in all of its facilities.

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Businessuite News24

Norbrook Equity Partners Expands Footprint in Panama with Acquisition of KFC and Dairy Queen



Norbrook Equity Partners Limited (NEPL), a prominent Jamaican investment group, has announced a significant expansion into the Panamanian market with the acquisition of the KFC and Dairy Queen franchises. This strategic move marks a notable development in the Panamanian quick-service restaurant (QSR) landscape and underscores Norbrook’s ambition to deepen its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Current Operations and Market Presence
KFC has a longstanding history in Panama, having served the market for over 45 years. The brand is well-established, offering a variety of popular menu items and maintaining a robust presence across the country. Similarly, Dairy Queen enjoys a solid reputation, particularly known for its ice cream and fast-food offerings in key locations like the Centennial Mall​ ​.

Competitive Landscape
The QSR market in Panama is competitive, with major international brands such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway vying for market share. KFC and Dairy Queen have carved out niches with their unique offerings—KFC with its famous fried chicken and Dairy Queen with its signature Blizzards and ice cream treats. The entry of Norbrook Equity Partners introduces a dynamic new player with extensive experience in managing and expanding food service brands.

The Decision to Sell
The previous owners of the Panamanian KFC and Dairy Queen franchises likely saw the sale as an opportunity to leverage the strategic capabilities and capital strength of Norbrook Equity Partners. Norbrook’s proven track record of successful acquisitions and its ability to inject capital for growth likely played a crucial role in the decision to transfer ownership​.

Who Are the New Owners?
Norbrook Equity Partners, founded by Khary Robinson, is a diversified investment holding company based in Kingston, Jamaica. The firm has built a reputation for identifying and growing high-potential businesses across various sectors, including logistics, consumer goods, and services. Their portfolio includes well-known brands such as Mailpac Group, Hertz Jamaica, and Express Fitness. This acquisition aligns with Norbrook’s strategy to expand its footprint in the Caribbean and Latin American markets​.

Opportunities for Growth and Expansion
Norbrook Equity Partners’ acquisition of KFC and Dairy Queen in Panama opens several avenues for growth. With new capital and strategic direction, these franchises can enhance their market presence through expanded menu offerings, improved customer service, and innovative marketing strategies. Additionally, there is potential for opening new locations to increase accessibility and market penetration.

Norbrook’s expertise in scaling businesses and its strategic focus on the Caribbean and Latin America positions it well to leverage the existing strengths of KFC and Dairy Queen. This move is expected to bring operational efficiencies, improved supply chain logistics, and enhanced customer experiences, ultimately driving growth in these markets​​.

Looking Forward
Norbrook’s entry into the Panamanian QSR market signals a robust phase of growth and innovation. The acquisition is set to not only strengthen the presence of KFC and Dairy Queen but also stimulate the competitive landscape, offering Panamanian consumers enhanced dining experiences. As Norbrook Equity Partners continues to expand its portfolio, its strategic investments are poised to unlock significant value and drive sustainable growth across the region.

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Businessuite Markets

VM Investments Dumps 30% Stake In Carilend, Acquires 100% of Republic Funds Barbados



Rezworth Burchenson Chief Executive Officer VM Investments Limited (VMIL) Has Released The Following Unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements For The First Quarter Ended March 31, 2024

First Quarter Financial Overview: March 2024
For the first quarter of 2024, VMIL’s Total Operating Revenue was $911.93 million in comparison to $439.52 million in the prior year, representing an increase of 107.49%.
Net income also increased from $19.92 million in Q1-2023 to $510.21 million.
Net interest income totalled $31.40 million, a decline when compared to $91.63 million reported in the prior year due to our deliberate capital management policy to contain the growth of our repo portfolio, but also compression of spreads due to the tight monetary policy of higher interest rates.

Lower investor confidence and reduced market participation negatively impacted Fees & Commission, which declined to $181.54 million.

Gains from investment activities were primarily boosted by the sale of our equity interest in Carilend, during the review period. VMIL took the strategic decision to liquidate our holdings and to redeploy capital to other ventures.

For the review quarter, expenses grew by 5.76% to $470.39 million against the backdrop of our prudent cost-containment measures.

Our Share of Associate’s Profit for the quarter was lower at $14.69 million.
Profit Before Tax amounted to $456.23 million which translated to net earnings of $510.21 million for the quarter, the highest quarterly profit in the history of VMIL.

Assets Under Management
Our on-balance sheet assets were higher at $30.19 billion, showing an increase of 4%. This was predominately driven by increases in the value of our resale agreements, loan balance and investment in associates of $1.76 billion and $5.21 billion and $1.72 billion respectively. The increase was however tempered by a reduction in net investments in finance leases along with lower cash balance and PP&E figures.

VM Wealth Management (VMWM), continued to manage clients’ funds on a non-recourse basis under management agreements, which saw total off-balance sheet assets of $33.91 billion versus $33.68 billion as at March 2023.

We are pleased that our Unit Trust portfolios have been performing well this year, with the Global Equity and Classic Income Funds generating YTD market-leading returns of 6.69% and 1.77%, respectively in the quarter.

We prudently maintained a capital to assets ratio in excess of the 8% minimum requirement. At the end of Q1, the capital to total assets ratio was 15.02%.

Gain on sale of VMIL’s 30% stake in Carilend
In the first quarter of the financial year, VMIL made significant strides in executing strategic initiatives geared at promoting sustainable growth. One of these included the sale of VMIL’s 30% stake in Carilend Caribbean Holdings Limited in March 2024. Carilend, which was acquired in 2019, is a fintech company that services the Caribbean region, offering a digital lending platform. The shareholding in Carilend was acquired by the VM Financial Group and this transaction had a positive impact on the gains from investment activities.

VMIL Completed 100% Acquisition of Republic Funds Barbados
VM Investments Limited (VMIL) officially acquired 100% ownership of Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited’s shares in Republic Funds (Barbados) Incorporated (RFI) on January 19th, 2024. Following this acquisition, VM Wealth Management Ltd., VMIL’s major subsidiary, took over the administration of the mutual funds previously managed by RFI and changed the names of the mutual funds as follows:

Former Name                                         New Name
Republic Capital Growth Fund:                VM Wealth Capital Growth Fund
Republic Income Fund:                              VM Wealth Income Fund
Republic Property Fund:                            VM Wealth Property Fund

Operating under the new name VM Wealth Funds Limited, the Barbados branch, led by Country Manager Sean Yearwood, now oversees the rebranded mutual funds and is committed to enhancing financial literacy and investment proficiency among Barbadians and the broader Caribbean populace.

For More Information CLICK HERE

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Business Insights

How Is A Successful Leverage Buyout Of A Public Listed Company Executed?



A successful leveraged buyout (LBO) of a publicly listed company involves several key steps, which include identifying a target company, securing financing, negotiating terms, and executing the transaction. Here is a detailed breakdown of the process:

1. Identifying the Target Company

  • Market Research: Identify potential target companies that are undervalued, have strong cash flows, or possess strategic assets.
  • Due Diligence: Conduct thorough due diligence to understand the target company’s financial health, management team, market position, and growth potential.

2. Securing Financing

  • Equity Investment: The acquiring firm, typically a private equity firm, provides a portion of the capital as equity.
  • Debt Financing: The majority of the purchase price is financed through debt. This can include:
    • Bank Loans: Secured and unsecured loans from banks.
    • High-Yield Bonds: Issuance of bonds to investors.
    • Mezzanine Financing: Subordinated debt that may include warrants or options.

3. Approaching the Target

  • Initial Contact: The acquiring firm contacts the target company’s management or board of directors to express interest in a buyout.
  • Confidentiality Agreements: Both parties sign confidentiality agreements to protect sensitive information during negotiations.

4. Valuation and Offer

  • Valuation Analysis: Perform detailed valuation using methods such as discounted cash flow (DCF), comparable company analysis, and precedent transactions.
  • Offer Letter: Submit a non-binding offer letter indicating the proposed purchase price, financing structure, and any conditions.

5. Negotiation

  • Negotiation of Terms: Engage in detailed negotiations regarding the price, structure, and terms of the transaction.
  • Letter of Intent (LOI): Sign a letter of intent that outlines the agreed terms and conditions, subject to due diligence and financing.

6. Due Diligence

  • Comprehensive Due Diligence: Conduct an in-depth review of the target’s financials, operations, legal matters, and other key areas to confirm the initial assumptions.

7. Financing Commitment

  • Debt Commitment: Secure commitments from lenders to provide the necessary debt financing.
  • Equity Arrangements: Finalize the equity contribution from the private equity firm and any co-investors.

8. Definitive Agreements

  • Purchase Agreement: Draft and sign a definitive purchase agreement that legally binds the parties to the terms of the deal.
  • Financing Documents: Prepare and execute all necessary financing documents with lenders.

9. Regulatory Approvals

  • Regulatory Filings: Submit required filings to regulatory bodies, such as the SEC in the United States, for approval.
  • Shareholder Approval: If required, seek approval from the target company’s shareholders.

10. Closing the Transaction

  • Funds Transfer: Transfer the funds from the lenders and equity investors to the selling shareholders.
  • Change of Control: Implement the change of control and restructure the target company’s capital structure as planned.

11. Post-Acquisition Integration

  • Operational Changes: Implement operational improvements and strategic initiatives to increase the target company’s value.
  • Debt Repayment: Use the company’s cash flows to service and repay the debt incurred during the buyout.

Key Considerations

  • Leverage: The success of an LBO relies heavily on the appropriate use of leverage, balancing risk and potential returns.
  • Management Team: Retaining or replacing the management team to ensure successful execution of the post-acquisition strategy.
  • Exit Strategy: Planning an exit strategy (e.g., IPO, sale to another company) to realize returns on the investment.

Each step requires meticulous planning, legal and financial expertise, and effective execution to ensure a successful leveraged buyout of a public listed company.

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Businessuite News24

Lumber Depot Limited Acquires Stake In Atlantic Hardware & Plumbing Company Limited



Lumber Depot Limited (LUMBER) has announced that it has acquired a 35% interest in Atlantic Hardware & Plumbing Company Limited (“Atlantic”). Atlantic is a 30-year-old Jamaican company that is engaged in the wholesaling and distribution of hardware, building materials, plumbing, electrical, tools, and supplies to hardware stores, contractors, and developers across Jamaica. The business is located at 7a Ashenheim Road, Kingston 11 and is led by Managing Director, Deanall Barnes, an experienced business leader in the trading and distribution of building materials.

There will be no change to the business strategy of Atlantic, and it will continue to operate as a dedicated hardware wholesaler and distributor. The purchase price of Lumber Depot’s 35% interest in Atlantic was J$210m and this was funded with internal funds. Lumber Depot will account for the transaction with effect from its first quarter, May 1, 2024.

The majority shareholder of Atlantic is Construct Group Limited, a private investment company with expertise in the hardware business as well as general business management. Lumber Depot Limited (LUMBER) will be represented on the Board of Directors of Atlantic by its Managing Director, Major Noel Dawes along with two other directors.

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