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$71M in dividends for ABDAB shareholders since 1997

Shareholders of Associated Bahamian Distillers and Brewers Ltd(ABDAB)have received$71 million in dividends since 1997, and are holding onto their shares, now valued at$29 each.

Mark Finlayson, ABDAB’s president, speaking withGuardian Businesson Friday said that after Trans-Island Traders, the majority owner of City Market’s parent company, announced plans for a$1.50 tender offer to take ownership of 51 percent of AML Foods Ltd.(AML), much has been made about the experience of his management team. Finlayson, who also heads Trans-Island Traders, said the conversation should be about the shareholder value that a management team brings, and added that his team had a strong record.

“Since[shareholders]invested$10 per share in[ABDAB], the share price went up as high as$42 per share, and now, even though we have sold the major part of this business, nobody is letting go of their shares for less than$29.

“You know why?Because they know we always have something up our sleeves, and they have been the beneficiary of it.”

ABDAB went private in 1986, but according to Finlayson the company saw the majority of its growth since 1997. He said that approximately$1.2 million was paid out in dividends in 1997, but a total of roughly$70 million had been paid out in dividends since 1998.

The company has a total of 2,985,262 common shares outstanding, according to ABDAB company secretary Barry Newman. This would mean that based on the$71 million figure, the company paid total dividends of$28.78 per share over the last 14 years. Finlayson estimated that the company’s shareholder base was around 350 persons. The shares are traded over-the-counter.

ABDAB has been involved in a number of businesses and industries since its formation in 1979, going public in 1986. With ABDAB’s sale of Burns House Limited and Commonwealth Brewery to Heineken International B.V. in May 2010, the company essentially became a real estate investment company.

As of Tuesday, February 7, ABDAB closed at$29.00 per share with$4.54 earning per share and a reported 52-week high of$41.00. The price/earnings ratio, calculated by dividing the closing price per share by the last 12 months of earnings per share was$9.03.

“We watch out for our shareholders first.”Finlayson said.”You know why?Because we are big shareholders, so we have to watch out for them just like how we are watching out for us, and they know it.”

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