Image: Anthony Smare (Chairman Paradise Company Ltd) and Peter Langslow (MD Steamships)
By Meleasie Goviro – EMTV News, Port Moresby
In a press release today (July 2) Paradise Company Ltd announced its acquisition of Laga Industries Ltd, a subsidiary of Steamships Trading Company for over two decades. The acquisition now means that Laga Industries is officially 100% PNG owned.
“Paradise Company Ltd owner of Paradise Foods, Paradise Beverages and Queen Emma Chocolates, is proud to announce the acquisition of Laga Industries, the owner of Gala Ice cream, Oasis Water and Highlands Meadow Cooking Oil and other products.”
Board Chairman of Paradise Company Ltd, Anthony Smaré described the acquisition as a “statement of ambition” by Paradise and its shareholders.
“Paradise has been growing strongly over the last two years and has been a very successful investment for its shareholders Nambawan Super Limited and Comrade Trustees Limited. Laga Industries has also been growing strongly over the past several years. This acquisition is a statement of ambition by Paradise and its shareholders, because we are bringing together two strong growing food businesses to create a very large food business with a strong sales and distribution network around the country, strong brand loyalty and backed up by two talented and dedicated groups of employees at the two companies.” Mr Smaré said.
In a separate statement, Steamships Trading Company Limited (Steamships) confirmed the merge, announcing its engagement in an agreement to sell Laga Industries to Paradise Company Ltd.
“Laga has been a part of the Steamships family since 2005. In that time we’ve invested heavily in manufacturing equipment and in the development of the Laga team, to ensure that the company has gone from strength to strength. In 2015 the company commissioned a state of the art ice cream plant which remains the largest and most modern in the South Pacific (outside Australia & New Zealand). While there is a note of sadness in saying goodbye, I am confident that the Laga business will benefit greatly from becoming part of a larger and more focussed consumer foods business in Paradise Company.” said Steamships Managing Director, Peter Langslow.
The Paradise Board of Directors has assured that manufacturing sites and staff of both companies will be “unaffected” by the merge.
“Both companies have first class systems and procedures with strong management frameworks in place. It really is Business as Usual for all staff as ownership changes to Paradise.” said Mr Smaré.
“We expect that new combined Paradise Company, with its diverse products leading the PNG market in biscuits, snack foods, water, ice cream, cooking oil, chocolates and beverages, to now leveraging off the synergies of the combined businesses and their talented staff to accelerate its growth to take advantages of the potential of the PNG market, and to truly be a world-class company that PNG can be proud of.” Mr Smaré added.
Paradise Company has confirmed that it’s acquisition of Laga Industries from Steamships Trading Company takes effective today (Monday 2nd July 2018), following a period of due diligence and Board approval.