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DDL opts out of bidding for Enmore estate

At left: Managing Director of Demerara Distillers Limited, Komal Samaroo.

Demerara Distillers Limited, DDL, on Friday announced that after much deliberation, the company decided not to submit a bid for the Enmore Sugar Estate over its inability to find the right due diligence model.

The announcement comes after the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) of the National Industrial & Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) announced that the tender for the sugar estates, under a process managed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was closed on October 31, 2018.

There was an expectation that DDL would tender for the Enmore Estate, and in fact, DDL invested considerable time and financial resources in a due diligence process to determine the level of investment required to turnaround the Enmore Estate.

As a responsible corporate citizen, DDL was clearly interested in the preservation of the sugar industry in Guyana because it is deeply rooted in who we are as a nation and as a people.

Moreover, the sugar industry is seen as inextricably linked to DDL’s rums, for which the value of participating in the industry’s survival is crucial to preserving those links.

In fact, DDL’s interest in Enmore is driven primarily by its need for molasses for its core business as a distillery. The short-fall in molasses experienced after the closure of three GuySuCo estates severely impacted DDL’s ability to meet its commitments to local and export customers.

However, in its due diligence exercise, DDL was unable to find a model for the Enmore Estate that would properly fit within its current investment and development strategy.

Nevertheless, DDL remains committed to participate, should the opportunity become available in the future.

In a comment earlier Friday, DDL Chairman, Komal Samaroo, said that “we respect the process being conducted by the SPU and PwC, and will continue to pay keen interest in those developments and outcomes.”

Samaroo added that, “if the estate is sold, we will quickly engage the new owners to ensure that we secure supplies of molasses for our distillery. Should the estate remain unsold, we would equally reengage to determine if there is a model that works for our shareholders.”