ADDUCI Agriculture Manufacturing Export, which ceased cigar production in Jamaica, is seeking a US$50-million investment partner to return to the island and employ 5,000 people.
The company still believes that Jamaica can become a global leader in quality cigars. The investment, although formidable, received some level of certitude from Government marketing agency Jamaica Promotions (Jampro).
"I currently have halted business and production in Jamaica due to crime, lack of Government support, sabotage and a general lack of willingness from private and institutional investors to believe that Jamaica can produce and compete on a global level," said Joe Adduci majority shareholder and CEO in mailed comments to Business Observer queries.
Adduci owns the Adduci Jamaican Cigar trademark and the King Lion Jamaican Cigar trademark.
"The purpose of this specific capital is to hire, train and employ up to 5,000 Jamaican workers immediately -- 2,000 factory workers, including administration and sales, plus 3,000 farm workers," said Adduci about the investment prospect.
"In essence the US$50 million would train and employ 5,000 workers to grow Jamaican tobacco, then manufacture 50 million Jamaican cigars, and exporting them for US$100 million in foreign exchange," he said. "The profits would be reinvested in stock and personnel. All manufacturing and agriculture would be accomplished in Jamaica."
The prospective investment was discussed by Government marketing agency Jamaica Promotions (Jampro) in its Investing in Jamaica publication.
"...Adduci Cigars making strides and embarking on a US$50m expansion plan as part of its efforts to become a premier brand in the international cigar market. The company is actively seeking investment partners to assist them with their expansion and international promotion," according to Investing in Jamaica published by Jampro in July 2013.
The "trigger date" depends on the seriousness of an investor, Adduci told the Business Observer when asked about the Jampro statement.
"This opportunity exists for a global-minded thinker-cash rich with a bold if not 'gutsy' investment acumen," he said.
In 2011 Adduci tried in vain to acquire lands in May Pen and Royal Jamaica brand from a Dominica Republic company.
"I did not go through with the May Pen acquisition nor the purchase of Royal Jamaica," he indicated.
Adduci yesterday added that he is still applying for trademarks on Original Royal Jamaica.
Adduci learned how to grow tobacco in Connecticut, in the United States. He began his tobacco venture in Jamaica in 2005, with Adduci Tobacco Limited operating farmlands both in Clarendon and Westmoreland.
Adduci is the latest tobacco manufacturer to cease production locally hurt by a lack of government concessions, labour and energy costs. Since the 90s, the sector reportedly lost some two thousand jobs resulting from the closure of the Cifuentes Y Cia factory on Washington Boulevard, Craven A moving production to Trinidad, and Royal Jamaica being produced in the Dominican Republic where labour costs were 70 per cent cheaper than Jamaica.