Pulse seeks operator for new restaurant business at Villa Ronai
...as leisure and lifestyle company continues with growth agenda despite COVID-19Wednesday, February 17, 2021
BY KELLARAY MILES
Pulse Investments Limited (PIL), in its quest to further grow revenues and maintain positive income streams, is currently seeking to rent additional space for a food business at its Villa Ronai property, located on Old Stony Hill Road in St Andrew.
Safia Cooper, co-managing director of PIL, speaking with the Jamaica Observer at the company's annual general meeting held yesterday, said that the move forms part of the company's thrust to further diversify as well as make itself relevant amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We're looking for a restaurateur to come on board. It's a commercial opportunity, so where we have the Majestic Sushi [restaurant and grill], another restaurant will complement and offer more offerings here on property.
“We're looking for someone who can fulfill the need for international guest as well as our existing locals. We hope to have more Jamaican-type cuisine along with full dining experience and one that will complement Majestic, which is already providing us with exceptional service,” she told the Business Observer, noting that interested persons can reach out to management as soon as possible.
The real estate, lifestyle, and media company, which continues to see steady growth across most of its business segments despite the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, has reported net profit out-turns of $260 million and total assets of $5.3 billion in its six-month period ended December 31, 2020.
The company, which has over the past several years diversified its operations, now sources revenues from a raft of other businesses including property rentals and investment properties, television programmes, lifestyle and entertainment events.
The company in advancing its growth agenda has also recently completed its 68 guest suites at Vilia Ronai which it expects to open to the public by the first quarter of this year. Its more long-term Pulse Home property investment project is now in the process of awaiting some approvals before work commences with expectations for sale in 2022/23. A 22-room accommodations development at 38a Trafalgar Road has also been completed with about half of the space converted to short-stay offices during the pandemic.
Kingsley Cooper, chairman of PIL, said that the company was currently in an advance phase in securing funding to finance existing and new projects, some of which he said has already being signed off with the rest expected in another month. He also noted that plans for the company to make an additional public offering (APO) remains prospective.
“The immediate funding is bond funding, but we're still looking at an APO but not for 2021,” he added, further noting to the Business Observer that previously mentioned plans to garner stakes in New York-based radio station — Irie Jam — would commence at that time while updating that those to get into a cosmetic company was currently on hold due to regulatory challenges with some products to be offered.
“We're very optimistic about the future, we're grateful for the results that we have had and we will keep pressing along. We are committed to the long term goal of growing the business
PIL, at the last meeting of its board, also approved for dividends to be paid to investors. The company had previously said that it would be considering payments of $0.005 per share or some $32.6 million to shareholders. The chairman disclosed at the AGM that a dividend policy was also currently being developed, with hopes to attract institutional investors in the near future.
“We are actively looking at bringing institutional investors on board, but first we need to acquire the property at Villa Ronai to make the deal more attractive. Pulse intends to acquire Villa Ronai — it is not owned by us as we operate on a 50-year lease, however, all of this is in process and pretty soon we can make announcements in that regard,” he stated.
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