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Roots buys Mother’s Enterprise

Roots Financial Group has acquired patty maker and food chain Mother’s Enterprise Limited for an undisclosed sum.

“We acquired 100 per cent of Mother’s Enterprises,” said Kevin Donaldson, a former investment banker and principal owner of Roots Financial.

Roots sees potential in expanding Mother’s operations, investing in staff, customer sensory satisfaction, and expanding export opportunities.

The deal, which took effect last Thursday, was executed through MEL 2022 Limited, a company created by Roots Financial to hold the shares in Mother’s.

The food chain operates 16 stores, school canteens, a bakery at Devon House, and the Pimentos restaurant.

The transaction was arranged and structured by Roots, but Donaldson declined to comment on the price paid for the chain.

Founded in 1981 Mother’s Enterprise is a privately held company with shareholders Adrian Foreman, Richard Foreman, Victor Hudson, and West Wind Holdings Limited. It operates Mother’s Restaurants, Mother’s Bakery, Mother’s Catering, Mother’s Canteens, Devon House Bakery, DHB Too, and Pimentos.

Over the past eight years, Mother’s invested in building out sales channels through Jamaica’s school network. It operated eight school cafeterias and sold patties, pastries, and other baked goods to over 200 schools. But then the pandemic led to a shutdown of schools and a migration of classes online, erasing much of that market.

In a statement, Roots named Sheldon Seymour as managing director-designate but said Foreman will continue to guide Mother’s in the transition to Roots’ ownership.

“Mother’s continues on a successful financial path with the invaluable contribution from our 800 employees, customers and suppliers. We are confident that the new owners will maintain the same high standards and we wish them every success,” said Seymour.

Donaldson founded Roots Financial after resigning as CEO of Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited in 2020.

Since then, Roots, which is chaired by former rum-maker Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence, has invested in various businesses, including Wipay, Quickcart, Amazing Concrete Finishes, Novamed, Edufocal, and other entities.

Prior to the deal with Roots, Richard Foreman disclosed that Mother’s achieved sales of $3.5 billion in 2022, marking a recovery from the pandemic, and was looking to grow that beyond $4 billion this year.

That target was underpinned by plans to spend $100 million on the refurbishment of two restaurants this year, and $130 million to set up a new drive-thru location in Spanish Town, St Catherine, by March 2024.

It’s unclear whether Roots will pursue the same projects.

Apart from the eight school cafeterias, Mother’s owns and operates 16 restaurants across Jamaica, with drive-thru facilities in Portmore, St Catherine; Mandeville, Manchester; and Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth. The company also operates three pastry shops at the historic Devon House complex in Kingston.

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