KLE appoints Dehring, US-based attorney to board

Friday, February 21, 2014    

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LIME Chairman Christopher Dehring has joined the board of directors of entertainment company KLE Group.

It's one of two board appointments, effective since January 13, announced by KLE this week. The entertainment outfit, which operates Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records restaurant as well as a pair of nightclubs, also announced the board appointment of Marlon Hill, a founding partner of the Florida-based law firm, delancyhill PA.

In welcoming the appointments, Ambassador Audrey Marks, chairperson of the KLE Board, expressed the view that "both professionals would, undoubtedly, bring a high level of dynamic and international experience to the organisation, especially as it positions for the next stage of expansion in the global franchising market."

Dehring is highly regarded among Jamaica's leading executives and is renowned for his marketing expertise. He was the founder, as well as former president and CEO of financial house Dehring, Bunting and Golding (DB&G). DB&G was also one of the Caribbean's most successful financial outfits and was listed on the Stock Exchanges in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. With an initial capital base of US$2.5 million, DB&G was sold to the Bank of Nova Scotia for a reported US$100 million. He is also the conceptualiser of Sportsmax — the Caribbean's first dedicated sports television channel — and led the Caribbean's staging of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Hill's law firm provides legal services in the areas of general corporate, entertainment and intellectual property and international business transactions, primarily for entrepreneurs and start-ups, non-profit organisations, entertainment companies, as well as talents in music, media, the visual and performing arts, together with the hospital and tourism industries.

"The appointments of these two new Board members have come at a time when the KLE Group has undertaken a major shift in its marketing strategy to reflect tailored products and events," said Gary Matalon, the CEO of KLE Group. "Both businessmen have joined with a passion for Brand Jamaica and the drive and enthusiasm to chart a new path for KLE to grow as an entertainment group, while at the same time realising its specific goal of global expansion for the Usain Bolt Tracks & Records brand."

Along with Tracks & Records, KLE operates the Fiction Lounge and Famous nightclubs in Kingston and Portmore respectively.

However, it has been reported that a sale agreement for Fiction between KLE Group and a prominent player in the entertainment industry will soon be finalised, although the publicly listed company is yet to disclose details of the deal.

Fiction, though it has been operated profitably in the past, has been making losses since 2013. The nightclub, situated at Marketplace in St Andrew, incurred just under $15 million in losses for the nine months to September 30, 2013.

The nightclub's revenue actually fell from $89 million for the first nine months of 2012 to $73.4 million in the comparative period last year.



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