Friday 24 May, 2019

Pure National, Norbrook Equity consolidate ice industry

The company will be equally owned by both Norbrook and PNIC with an integrated board and management team from both entities. (Photo contributed)

The company will be equally owned by both Norbrook and PNIC with an integrated board and management team from both entities. (Photo contributed)

Norbrook Equity Partners and Pure National Ice have announced the merger of their ice manufacturing and distribution operation into a new company called, Pure National Limited.

Together, the combined company constitutes the largest ice manufacturing and distribution platforms in the English-speaking Caribbean, distributing over five million bags of ice annually under the brands Happy Ice, Kingston Ice, and Pure National Ice, Norbrook Equity said in a press release.

The company will be equally owned by both Norbrook and PNIC with an integrated board and management team from both entities.

Initiated by the leadership of both companies, the merger was designed to enable greater cost and capital efficiencies between the companies in a market that has experienced a sharp rise in demand as well as in operating cost.

“With the continued expansion of the tourism and commercial sector, it became apparent that an investment of over $350 million in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility would be required to effectively service our hospitality and commercial clients. In a market where electricity and fuel prices are rapidly increasing, managing that investment risk through partnership seemed most prudent”, said Khary Robinson, Executive Chairman at Norbrook.

Both Norbrook and PNIC expressed delight with the partnership, noting that that the merger will enable the companies to more efficiently cater to customers.

“We are excited for the future of this combined platform as the new company will be better equipped and able to serve the evolving needs of our customers. With a broader infrastructure and an enhanced team, the customers of both companies will experience a marked increase in service quality,” said Jamie Chang, Director at PNIC.

Norbrook and PNIC have both had a meaningful and successful tenure in the ice industry. Norbrook was a minority investor when Braywick Capital acquired Happy Ice in 2008 and have stayed on until they made the decision to acquire the entire business in 2018. Conversely, Pure National Ice was started four years ago and has grown into a very effective player in the market.

“Having a long tenure in the ice industry allowed both parties to develop a deep appreciation for the operating metrics that are required to successfully service all clients. This merger not only allows us to meet those metrics, but we believe was imperative for successful continuity in the industry”, added Chang

Pure National Limited will be led by Managing Director, Theresa Lindo, who has over five years of leadership experience running Norbrook’s water business (JamAgua and Blue Mountain Peak) and local e-commerce business (Mailpac Local).

She will join Anthony Phillips and David Walton, who together spent three years successfully building PNIC with Peter Buckley, Jamaica’s longest-tenured ice entrepreneur. They will absorb the roles of Operations Manager and Sales & Marketing Manager at PNL, respectively.

The management team is eager to immediately leverage the expanded scope of the company to bolster its local and regional prospects.

“We are excited to take what was already two of the leading ice companies in the Caribbean and expand their reach and scope in the region as one unified and strengthened platform. Our customers around the Caribbean, both new and old, will definitely experience an enhanced level of quality and service from us with this merger,” said Theresa Lindo.

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