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News Article
'Has patient lost too much blood'

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor
business@tribunemedia.net

THE acquisition of a 78 per cent majority stake in struggling City Markets was completed by businessman Mark Finlayson and his family on Friday, sources familiar with the situation told Tribune Business yesterday, as one rival - while praising the new owners for rescuing some 700 jobs - questioned whether "the patient may have lost too much blood".

This newspaper was told by contacts familiar with developments at City Markets, and its Bahamas Supermarkets operating parent, that all necessary government approvals - including foreign exchange control permission from the Central Bank of the Bahamas - was granted on Friday pas ...

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News Article
'Hostile' 12m AML offer is withdrawn

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

BUSINESSMAN Mark Finlayson is withdrawing his $12 million 'hostile takeover' bid to acquire a 51 per cent majority stake in AML Foods, after the Associated Bahamian Distillers and Brewers (ABDAB) Board decided the company's shareholders would gain better returns from City Markets' organic expansion instead.

Speaking with Tribune Business following last week's ABDAB Board meeting, Mr Finlayson said that while the directors approved the acquisition of the 78 per cent Bahamas Supermarkets stake owned by his family's 100 per cent-controlled investment vehicle, Trans-Island Traders, they felt there was "not enough value" for ...

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News Article
'Month's End' Target on City Market's Audit

BAHAMAS Supermarkets' principal yesterday said the struggling grocery chain was seeking to bring its audited financial statements "up to date by the end of the month", after the stock market regulator refused to grant it another extension for the filing of its year-end accounts.

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News Article
'Serious' Bahamas groups assess City Markets deal

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

CITY Markets' principal yesterday said "two very serious" Bahamas-based players were now assessing the possible acquisition of the struggling five-store supermarket chain, describing them as "some of the most respected business people in this town and business".

Mark Finlayson, head of the Finlayson family-owned vehicle, Trans-Island Traders, which holds the 78 per cent majority stake in City Markets' operating parent, Bahamas Supermarkets, told Tribune Business he would probably have closed a deal to sell control on Monday had it not been for the emergence of Bahamas-based interest.

Describing himself as "very confident" t ...

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News Article
'Serious' Bahamas groups assess City Markets deal

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

CITY Markets' principal yesterday said "two very serious" Bahamas-based players were now assessing the possible acquisition of the struggling five-store supermarket chain, describing them as "some of the most respected business people in this town and business".

Mark Finlayson, head of the Finlayson family-owned vehicle, Trans-Island Traders, which holds the 78 per cent majority stake in City Markets' operating parent, Bahamas Supermarkets, told Tribune Business he would probably have closed a deal to sell control on Monday had it not been for the emergence of Bahamas-based interest.

Describing himself as "very confident & ...

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News Article
'We have our customer base back'

City Market's Sea Grapes store is reporting sales this past weekend that reached 99 percent of levels achieved for the comparable weekend two years ago, signalling better times for the food store chain are around the corner, according to the company's vice president. Nikki Finlayson-Boeuf said she was pleased to see such robust sales so soon after reopening the location.
Meanwhile, Guardian Business can confirm that the South Beach location will open for business on Friday.

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News Article
'Xtra Valu' Rises In Oakes Field
'Xtra Valu' Rises In Oakes Field

The Oakes Field Shopping Centre will soon be re-energized with the opening of a major supermarket at the old City Market location.

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News Article
1.5M Quality poised to open in Seagrapes

A new $1.5 million Quality Supermarket store is set to open in the Seagrapes Shopping Center next month.
Rupert Roberts, the owner of Super Value, told Guardian Business that next month's opening will create the third store under the Quality Supermarket banner, representing a total investment of around $4.5 million.
Its opening should create dozens of new jobs.
The well-known businessman acquired three former City Markets locations in Cable Beach, South Beach and Seagrapes after that supermarket chain hit the final chopping block in April, putting hundreds of Bahamians out of work.
"Our third store in the Seagrapes Shopping Center will open up within the next month or so. We opened the second location in South Beach back in December. Cable Beach was the first location that we opened. Overall, we took over three of those stores, investing approximately $1.5 million in each," he explained.
In December, Roberts noted that all of the equipment for the Seagrapes store was in place, but there was still plenty of work to be done before it can start servicing customers. The owner of Super Value expressed pride in his dedicated staff for fighting through adversity to get these stores open.
As for the first Quality Supermarket location in Cable Beach, Roberts pointed out how it's already turning a profit. But he admitted that it might take time before the other two locations enter the black.
"We've been getting a lot of tourists at the Cable Beach location. It's even better for us during the winter months. On a Sunday morning, business at Cable Beach's Quality Market is just about as good as it is here in Golden Gates.
"As the economy improves, all of the old City Market businesses will come back because 60 percent of all businesses are done in locational convenience.
"Cable Beach turned a profit immediately. I think the other two will be breaking even and turning a profit next year."
The Super Value chief maintains he is not concerned that the newest Quality Supermarket location is so close to Super Value's Winton store because "there's enough business in the east to support both."
"I don't think that's going to be a problem because the stores will be run a little differently, with more specialty food in one of them. So there will come difference," he shared. "In fact, when the economy was up, both City Markets and Super Value locations were thriving."

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News Article
12m 'hostile offer' not in AML's interest

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

AML Foods' chairman last night branded the $12 million offer by City Markets principal, Mark Finlayson, to acquire 51 per cent majority control of the BISX-listed food retail group as "not in the best interests of all shareholders", telling Tribune Business it would leave them "at the mercy of an untried and unproven" management team.

Describing the announcement by Mr Finlayson and his Trans-Island Traders vehicle, which last November acquired the 78 per cent majority stake in City Markets' Bahamas Supermarkets parent for just $1, as effectively the first "hostile takeover bid" seen in the Bahamian capital markets, Dion ...

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News Article
13.8M plaza rises in Abaco

A new $13.8 million shopping plaza just outside of Marsh Harbour has created around 75 construction jobs and promises to generate many more by its opening in November.
The Central Pines Shopping Centre & Business Complex, owned by the Teachers and Salaried Workers Co-operative Credit Union Limited, is now leasing out up to 20 spaces in the facility. The 50,000-square-foot plaza consists of five interconnected buildings, a stand-alone bank and an office complex.
Ashley Glinton, the president of Woslee Construction, said the Central Pines area is growing rapidly and should be a center of robust economic development in the coming years.
"Abaco is growing very fast and I think this will certainly help the community grow. We just finished the government complex right near by," he told Guardian Business. "We are up to around 75 workers and I can say they are nearly 100 percent from Abaco."
Glinton added that Woslee is placing the roof on the complex and it's on schedule for the November opening. It is the largest project for Woslee on the island.
Anthony Rolle, the building manager at Central Pines, told Guardian Business yesterday that the search is on for tenants.
The complex will include a supermarket, movie theater, pharmacy, dental office, doctor's office, shoe store, clothing stores, fast food restaurants, liquor store and outlets for paying bills from Bahamas Electricity Corporation, Water and Sewerage or Cable Bahamas.
"We have a list of names, and if they all come through then we will be fully rented. I will be looking at taking deposits to ensure their commitment going forward," according to Rolle.
The building manager agreed that the new plaza is well positioned to take advantage of community growth. In addition to the government complex, he said that a high school and primary schools are also "not too far away".
He said the township is only a two- or three-minute drive from Marsh Harbour proper.
While Rolle was reluctant to assign any specific employment figures to the development, space for at least twenty businesses, including a supermarket, could easily equate to well over 100 jobs.
"It really depends on the tenants and how many employees they would hire. We are seeking three major anchors - a food store, fast-food restaurant and hardware store," he explained.
Marsh Harbour has been the source of increasing investment in recent years. The new Leonard M. Thompson International Airport has been under construction for several years after the original contract was signed under the previous administration.
Since then, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has expressed concern on the length of the runway and the quality of construction. The new international airport is reputedly due to have a grand opening, however, sometime this summer.
The government recently stated that Marsh Harbour is the third busiest travel hub in the country.
Guardian Business understands a new hospital is also under construction and should open in 2014.

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