Both the North West Company Inc. (“North West”) and Roadtown Wholesale Trading Ltd. (“RTT”) are confident that the recently announced acquisition would be completed by early February.
It was further disclosed that by the acquisition closing deadline North West is expected to pay approximately US$32 million for its 76% ownership interest in RTT, plus approximately US$5 million in acquisition related costs, which include stamp duties to the Government of the British Virgin Islands.
In an announcement on 13 January it was also indicated that: “North West is expected to pay approximately 90% of the purchase price in cash, financed through its existing credit facilities, and approximately 10% through the issuance of North West common shares, in accordance with the form of consideration elected to be received by RTT shareholders.”
Word of the sale of RTT, which operates under the trade names of Riteway Food Markets and Roadtown Wholesale Trading, was first mentioned in 2016. However, it was learned at that time that government did not accede to the proposal.
In the announcement, a few days ago, it was divulged that the deal received approval from the Government of the British Virgin Islands, as well as the Board of Directors of both North West and RTT.
“When we decided to sell this interest in our life’s work, we wanted to make sure that we partnered with a company that was committed to our customers, to our employees and to the BVI,” Peter Haycraft, founder and majority owner of RTT explained in the announcement.
The RTT Founder further stated that “North West is uniquely qualified in all of these respects and will bring enhancements to our business beyond what we could achieve on our own, especially within today’s changing retail environment.”
Meanwhile North West President and CEO Edward Kennedy announced that the company is happy that the agreement is moving forward: “We are very pleased to join with Riteway Food Markets and Roadtown Wholesale Trading Limited and to become part of the BVI…Through this long process of working with RTT’s owners, government and other BVI stakeholders, we have gained an even greater appreciation of our opportunity to be a valued partner.”
The companies pointed out that the transaction promises to offer of a broader range of retail and wholesale products at better prices to attract more of the provisioning and other retail spending that occurs outside of the BVI.
North West promises to continue to operate the business under the trade names, Riteway Food Markets and Roadtown Wholesale Trading; as well as ensure that BVI shareholders are well represented on RTT’s Board of Directors.
“Recognizing the strength of BVI’s workforce by making RTT an administration center for North West. Enhancing community support wherever possible and in consultation with all stakeholders,” the company said.
North West is a Canadian-based, widely-held publicly traded retailer that specializes in serving smaller countries and regions. North West’s retail presence in the Caribbean includes Cost-U-Less stores in Cayman Islands, Barbados, Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and St. Croix.