Jamaica: Caribbean's Leading Food Manufacturer and Distributor Buys Beverage Contract Manufacturer

GraceKennedy Limited (GK), a prominent Jamaican conglomerate and the Caribbean's leading food manufacturer and distributor, has announced its intention to acquire Unibev Limited, a privately owned beverage contract manufacturer headquartered in Kingston/Jamaica.

Unibev, renowned for providing comprehensive beverage solutions, is engaged in various facets of the beverage manufacturing process, encompassing raw material sourcing and packaging. The company has an operational manufacturing site located in Spring Garden, Portland, Jamaica. This manufacturing facility holds certification from the International Bottled Water Association and features a pristine Blue Mountain spring water source.

Unibev's focus revolves around delivering co-packing solutions at globally competitive prices, with a strong emphasis on augmenting Jamaica's potential for beverage exports. The Portland facility is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and a cutting-edge laboratory, underscoring the company's commitment to quality.

GK expressed that the completion of this transaction is subject to standard closing conditions, and it anticipates that this acquisition will bolster its strategic positioning within Jamaica's burgeoning spring water market. However, specific financial details concerning the transaction have not been disclosed by the company.

CEO Don Wehby of the GK Group highlighted the excitement surrounding the possibilities that this venture unlocks for innovation. Wehby remarked, "The acquisition of Unibev is critical for GK, as we pursue our 2030 vision, and more specifically, as we advance our position in the growing spring water market in Jamaica. We are strategically building on our recent investments in this space — our acquisition of 876 spring water and increasing our stake in Catherine's Peak — fortifying our supply chain to support this part of our business."

Responding to inquiries regarding how GK Limited intends to leverage Unibev's Portland facility, Wehby mentioned, "We are looking at flavoured water and innovative packaging, for example, TetraPak." He revealed that a dedicated team has been appointed to undertake a feasibility study and develop a business case for beverage production using this packaging solution. Furthermore, he unveiled plans to focus on the export market, primarily targeting the Caribbean region.

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