Seprod purchased AS Bryden for $312.7m

by Megan Defreitas
September 18, 2023

AS Bryden and Sons Holdings Ltd was valued at $267.9 million (JA$6.09 billion) when Seprod Ltd, the regional manufacturing and distribution company headquartered in Jamaica, sought to acquire it last year.

And to fund the transaction Seprod used a loan of $172.4 million (JA$3.9 billion) and issued preference shares to the tune of $140.3 million (JA$3.19 billion)

Regional distribution and manufacturing company headquartered in Jamaica, Seprod Ltd.

Goodwill was therefore valued at $44.8 million (JA $1.02 billion).

This according to Seprod Ltd’s audited financial statement for the year ended December 31, 2022.

Effective June 1 last year, Seprod acquired 60 per cent of the shareholding of AS Bryden.

“These operations have significantly increased the Group’s profitability and have significantly expanded the Group’s distribution capability and footprint throughout The Caribbean Community (Caricom),” the financial statement stated.

“Inclusive of its subsequent acquisition of Micon Holdings Ltd, AS Bryden and Sons Holdings Ltd contributed consolidated revenues, operating profit and net profit of JA$28,742,640,000, JA$2,736,678,000 and JA$1,736,316,000 respectively for the seven months ended December 31, 2022,” it stated.

On June 6 last year Seprod announced that it had closed its acquisition of AS Bryden.

“Seprod and AS Bryden wish to thank all stakeholders for their support in bringing this landmark regional transaction to a successful completion,” it stated.

In the May 4 news release announcing the transaction, Seprod said the acquisition of AS Bryden would result in a company with combined annual revenues projected to be in excess of $3.37 billion (US $500 million).

AS Bryden commenced operations in this country in October 1923 under William Francis Bryden, making this year the company’s 100th anniversary.

AS Bryden operates through three principal operating subsidiaries AS Bryden & Sons (Trinidad) Ltd, Bryden pi Ltd and FT Farfan Ltd.

According to Seprod’s chairman Paul B Scott last year was a transformational year for the company.

“Seprod was a work in progress last year, the years before and it should be no surprise it is one today. Seprod will continue to evolve in the future. There is no doubt 2022 was a transformational year in the history of Seprod,” Scott said., adding that Seprod today has over 50 per cent of its revenues outside of Jamaica.

“It is a leading distribution platform across the English speaking Caribbean with operations in all the major markets. This offers a seamless link for great brands to distribute and execute their strategies across the region. It also brings this advantage to our own brands which have been growing at double digits for several years in terms of exports. This did not happen in a vacuum. This strategy has been worked upon for the last decade and it is satisfying to see aspects of it coming into fruition,” he said.

Last year, Scott said, Seprod increased its revenues in excess of 79 per cent.

“This is of course on the back of one large transaction. However our underlying business even without the purchase of AS Bryden Holdings Ltd grew,” he said.

Scott said 2022 was a year of focused execution by Seprod’s management.

“They purchased one of the leading distributors in the Caribbean, rebuilt a new warehouse complex to rehouse the facility that was burnt by the fire and retooled the margarine plant at Caribbean Products to facilitate a large multinational contract packing opportunity. We will see the results of this in 2023,” he said.

“We will also see additional activity as our business is dynamic and our management is matched to this task. It is in their DNA,” Scott said.

Soctt said last year AS Brydens did a private placement where in excess of 55 per cent of the employees subscribed for stock.

AS Brydens has has over 1200 employees.

“This is not only an endorsement of the company strategy but an essential ingredient to our success. It is an honour to call these employees our partners. It gives us additional purpose as we build out the business creating wealth on our journey for those that execute every day for the Seprod Group,” he said.

Seprod’s chief executive officer Richard Pandohie said in June 2022, Seprod’s metamorphosis to a regional player continued with the acquisition of AS Bryden.

“The Brydens Group has built an enviable record of accomplishments for nearly 100 years. The union of Seprod and The Brydens Group has created a regional platform that will enable sustainable value creation for our principals, shareholders, and the people of Caricom,” Pandohie said.

“With the company’s strategic ambitions being fully embedded, we will continue to make investments to execute synergistic projects to drive value creation and growth. We aim to reduce the complexity of doing business in the region and become the partner-of-choice for regional and global players,” he said.

Pandohie said the amalgamated entity will see combined annual revenue exceeding US$650 million in 2023 with a robust growth trajectory for future years.

“We have great brands and great people, but for growth to continue at the pace that we desire, we will have to be attractive to a wider talent pool, particularly from Latin America and the rest of the Caribbean. We are committed to making our group one where all our people can participate in the growth, and have their lives positively impacted by their employment, such that they will be proud ambassadors for the group,” he said.

Pandohie said last year, Seprod’s achieved 22 per cent growth in exports, aided by an expansion and deeper penetration of our distribution footprint, primarily in the Caribbean and North America.

In an interview with Express Business earlier this year Pandohie said if everything goes according to plan, you will soon have the opportunity to become a part-owner of one of this country’s longest-standing family businesses.

This, as Pandohie said that AS Bryden is expected to be publicly listed before the end of the year.

“Bryden going from a private family company to a public company, that is a big transition,” Pandohie told the Express Business.

Seprod Ltd is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

And that is where Pandohie hopes to have AS Bryden listed also by the end of this month.

Once that is done, AS Bryden will then be listed on the T&T Stock Exchange soon afterward, he said.

“We wanted to finish that (the listing) earlier in the year but the audit won’t be completed until the end of this month so that has delayed us a little bit, but apart from that we are excited about listing,” he said.

Pandohie said the ongoing audit is part of the process being undertaken to also change AS Bryden’s reporting period to coincide with that of Seprod’s.

AS Bryden’s financial year ends in March while Seprod’s ends in December, Pandohie said.

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