IIC and Jamaican Teas Limited sign loan agreement under the Small Business Revolving Line

05/05/2011

Montego Bay, Jamaica – On May 6, 2011, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and Jamaican Teas Limited signed an agreement for a loan of up to US$500,000 under the Small Business Revolving Line (SBRL) in Jamaica.

This financing will enable the largest tea producer and exporter in Jamaica to increase its efficiency and boost its exports in the Caribbean region.

According to John Mahfood, Chief Executive Officer of Jamaican Teas Limited, "We are a small company operating in a highly competitive industry and competing with major multinationals. Our strategy is to expand our business by exporting our products throughout the Caribbean and North America. We also want to differentiate our products by offering high-quality indigenous raw materials. The loan from the IIC will help us achieve our goals by strengthening our financial resources at a favorable cost. This in turn will be used to increase our marketing efforts as well as acquire equipment and facilities in order to increase production of local raw materials. We anticipate that, in time, it will lead to increased employment in the agriculture sector."

According to Luisa Mayorga, IIC Technical Associate in charge of the operation, "This operation is expected to have a positive impact on the development of the private sector, create jobs, and benefit Jamaica’s economy. The loan proceeds will enable the company to expand its facilities, build a warehouse to store finished products, and acquire a supermarket, granting it access to profitable sectors in which it has experience."

John Mahfood signed on behalf of Jamaican Teas Limited and Wayne Wray of Wiltshire Consulting—one of the IIC’s agents in Jamaica—signed on behalf of the IIC.

The SBRL is offered in The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. It targets private companies operating in the agribusiness, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, service, and construction sectors, as well as any other sector that contributes to the local economy.

About Jamaican Teas Limited

Jamaican Teas Limited was established in 1967. It initially produced only black tea under the Tetley brand, and then it considerably expanded its product line to offer consumers herbal combinations and infusions. Today, with more than forty different types of teas, the company is the largest tea producer and exporter in Jamaica, and almost half of its products are exported to other Caribbean markets and North America. The company continues to diversify its product mix and is undergoing considerable expansion.

About the IIC

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. It does so by providing financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2010, the IIC reached US$1.4 billion in assets and approved forty-nine operations channeling US$374.8 million to SMEs in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int

Contact: Luisa Mayorga (in Nicaragua)

Telephone: + (505) 2267-9140

Email: lmayorga@iadb.org