KLE Group looks to international investors

Tracks&Records needs a white knight

Friday, March 07, 2014

LOCAL entertainment company, the KLE Group has said that it has received interest from large international investors to establish franchises of the Marketplace-based sports bar Tracks&Records across the globe.

This follows news that the KLE Group recorded a J$56 million net loss for the financial year 2013. The Group also operates Fiction nightclub, close to Tracks& Records and Famous night club in Portmore.

The KLE Group is experiencing a torrid time of late, with reports that it will soon offload Fiction to entertainment impressario PJ Wright and its latest financial report proving to be not too inspiring. Its current liabilities as at December 31, 2013 exceeded its current assets by over $100 million and its cash position bolstered by $80 million after its 2012 IPO fell to a low $12 million at the end of 2013.

An entertainment operator speaking with Caribbean Business Report observed: "Like us all, the KLE Group is finding it tough. The disposable spend is just not there and operating costs continue to increase in Jamaica. There there is 'Ribbiz' which is beginning to see a lot of traffic as well as the Terra Nova's Regency Bar which is pretty hot right now. They are both providing stiff competition to KLE's Kingston offerings.

"Tracks&Records would not be out of place in London or New York but Jamaicans today are finding it hard to pay those prices. KLE has upped the ante in entertainment in Jamaica but there is a lag because the country is seeing a contraction and people are pulling in their belts."

KLE has made no secret of its plans to export the Tracks& Records concept which is built around sprint king Usain Bolt. In fact it plans to launch the Track&Records network by mid-year

According to Gary Matalon, CEO of KLE Group, a contract has been signed with iFranchise Group -- the world's premier franchise consulting firm -- to prepare the final operational and promotional elements required to go to market with the Tracks & Records franchise.

He declared that iFranchise Group has already completed a competitive analysis of the global franchise market to inform the strategy that Tracks & Records should adopt.

"We are pleased to be a part of this exciting project," said Mark Siebert, CEO of iFranchise Group.




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