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No Jamaica Stock Exchange guidance in Sweet River auction saga

Having delisted Sweet River Abattoir & Supplies, the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) says it is unable to offer the company any guidance regarding concerns over the auction of its assets on November 26 of last year.

Last month Sweet River’s board of directors sought guidance from the JSE regarding the sale of its abattoir, advising that it would be late with its regulatory filings. Sweet River, based in Westmoreland, which is in the business of slaughtering and processing pigs, was on Monday (February 10) delisted from the Junior Market of the JSE with immediate effect.

The action was taken in accordance with Junior Market Rule 505 (14) (a) (i) and Sweet River’s failure to remedy board-level and financial requirements breaches.

When contacted, JSE Managing Director Marlene Street-Forrest told Jamaica Observer’s Business Report that the exchange is unable to offer any help to Sweet River directors over their grave concerns with the auction.

The directors raised concerns over the company’s 12,000 square foot, state-of-the-art abattoir facility, which was auctioned to Restaurant Associates, franchisee of Burger King, Popeye’s Jamaica, and Little Caesars.

Last September, Sweet River Abattoir announced it was selling its assets following years of operating at a loss and defaulting on loans and credit agreements with their bankers, creditors, and suppliers.

Street-Forrest explained that the JSE does not involve itself with the business operations of listed companies, save and except ensuring that they honour their JSE regulatory requirements. As such, the JSE managing director declared that the stock exchange is unable to involve itself with providing guidance to the directors of Sweet River regarding the way forward in resolving their concerns regarding the auction of the company’s assets.

“Involving ourselves in the business operation of a listed company is outside of the JSE’s remit,” Street-Forrest declared. She cited the auctioning of the company’s assets as a business operation, which doesn’t impinge on any regulatory concerns to trigger the JSE’s intervention.

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