Business

Mayberry execs foresee $1-b increase in SVL profit

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

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Newly appointed directors of Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) Christopher Berry and Gary Peart are confident that the lottery and gaming company can increase profit by $1 billion over the next few months under the new board composition.

The executives of Mayberry Investments Limited, during a press conference Monday, announced that they foresee Supreme Ventures nearly doubling profit over the next few months and growing from strength to strength thereafter.

“We are not in the belly of the beast. Just today [Monday] three of us were put on the board and certainly we want to see Caymanas [Park] bigger and better than it is now. Whenever we partner with a new company, we have certain fundamental principles like trust, working together and we believe that in order to run any company successfully, the best ideas will contend and must contend,” Mayberry Chairman Berry told journalists and shareholders during the meeting held at Liguanea Club.

On Monday, Berry, Peart and management consultant Ansel Howell were appointed to the SVL board. The appointment follows correspondence from Mayberry West Indies Limited for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to pass a resolution to remove seven current members of the SVL board, including Chairman Paul Hoo.

On October 13, two directors, Nikolaos Nikolakopoulos and Georgios Sampson, indicated their intention to resign as directors of the company, following on the retirement announcement of James “Danny” Morrison which took effect September 30, 2017.

The development allowed for the appointment of the three new directors. SVL's board now consists of 12 directors.

Peart, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer, noted that while there was correspondence for an EGM, discussions are now under way on whether to proceed with that meeting, given the latest development.

He said focus is now being placed on making SVL a stronger company that will benefit all stakeholders, including the Government, shareholders and agents.

“We have some ideas, which ultimately we will discuss with the other board members and if we get consensus around it, it will help the company forward. I'm sure that when we go in they will also have their ideas which we can always discuss and that's what makes a company strong, when the leadership of the company is constantly looking at different ways for it to grow,” Peart told the Business Observer.

Since 2012, SVL Group had profit moving up and down, with the worst being 2013 when the company posted net profit of $482 million. Since then, profit has trended upwards to $1.183 billion in 2015 but again declined in 2016 to $1.178 billion.

For the year ended 2016, SVL had total assets of $5.4 billion, up from $5.3 billion in 2015 and stockholders' equity of $3.8 billion. Cash and cash equivalents totalled $1.5 billion, a decline from $1.63 billion a year earlier.

“We have been tracking the company for a very long time, having held shares in SVL for over 10 years now. We look on all the companies that are listed on the exchange, whether or not we have shares in them, because we are always trying to determine where the opportunities are for the companies to grow. As a stockbroker we like to identify where they can grow because we want to buy the shares before they grow, and the reverse, if we think there is no future we want to sell it,” Peart explained.

“It's a massive investment for us, and that's a part of it. When you make a massive investment you have to try and protect it in any way, shape or form. So we are happy that we were appointed because then we can help to drive the direction in which the company can grow along with our other directors,” Peart said.

In 2010, Intralot Caribbean Ventures, which owned 48.89 per cent of the issued ordinary shares of SVL, was partially owned by two entities — Intralot St Lucia, which held 50.05 per cent, and Zodiac International, which owned 49.95.

Mayberry, which was the stockbroker conducting the transaction in 2010, also owned at least two per cent of the ordinary shares of Supreme Ventures. The transaction, which closed on October 9, saw Zodiac International acquiring 100 per cent share ownership in Intralot Caribbean Ventures. The company was then rebranded Zodiac Caribbean and went on to sell 11 per cent of its shares to a variety of shareholders including Mayberry Investments.

Today, Zodiac Caribbean owns 38 per cent of Intralot Caribbean. Mayberry West Indies Limited and associated companies Bamboo Holdings Limited and Konrad Mark Berry together hold 10.81 per cent in SVL.

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