Local brewery forced into outside hands

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The lack of local investment may force the government to offer shares in Wadadli brewery to outside investors.

“We heard from the Germans who have an interest in expanding. They were ordered to find some Antiguans who have interest in investing in it because we didn’t want a profitable enterprise to be turned over completely to external capital…and they indicated that they were having a great deal of difficulty persuading the Antiguans with resources to take a shared capital in the operation,” Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel Hurst told OBSERVER media.

The Wadadli Brewery, located at Crabbes Peninsula, has been idle for almost 10 years.

In August 2018, the manager of BREWTECH Antigua Limited, which has interest in the brewery, Jobst Meier Zu Biesen, made an appeal for Antiguans to invest in the company by purchasing shares.

He said at the time that if the company was owned fully by a foreign investor, then all the profits and other benefits would be for that investor.

However, Hurst said the passivity of locals who have the capital has caused the government to consider regional offers.

“We are at the same time accepting offers from a very successful Barbadian brewery that has a strong track record of succeeding and I believe that these two competing interests have been given the go-ahead to try to achieve something that we know will be a profitable enterprise,” Hurst said.

The Barbadian entity to which he refers is said to be Banks Breweries Ltd.

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