$40M for CHEFETTE
by Ricky Jordan
Chefette Holetown will soon be no more, as the lone beachfront property of the island's largest restaurant chain
has been sold
to a British-based investor.
The restaurant, which opened at Sunset Crest, Holetown, St James,
14 years ago, was sold
less than a week ago
for a reported
"$40 million-plus", according to sources. The sale is expected to pave the way for a new flush
of condominiums along
Chefette Restaurants Ltd announced the sale yesterday after meeting with staff on Monday. Emails and notices were also sent to the Holetown branch's 35 members of staff and management none of whom will go
on the breadline.
Will be integrated
"They will all be integrated into the other 13 locations. We don't lay off people. That's one
of the principles ingrained in me and is in fact one
of Chefette's founding principles," deputy managing director
Ryan Haloute told the MIDWEEK NATION.
He assured staffers the
35-year-old restaurant chain was not in financial trouble, but now had "more money at our fingertips to expand
While the company
did not give a price or the name of the new owner,
it stated Chefette Holetown had been "underperforming",
and that the hundreds
of "tourists visiting the area to dine [had] declined due to the numerous
along the West Coast, in addition to the change
of the community into
a more upscale condominium and townhouse-based one".
The company added that declining sales coupled with "an attractive offer" by the investor,
led to the sale of the
80 000-square-foot prime beachfront property
one of the few remaining "windows to the sea".
Chefette's chairman and managing director Assad Haloute said the proceeds would go back into the business.
"It will help increase future opportunities
for the company and Barbados. The company will also be looking for other locations to open new Chefette restaurants," the chairman said.
"We have already acquired a property
for our manufacturing operations which are
being expanded, and
this will lead to further employment," he added.
None of the Haloutes nor legal representatives would disclose the sale price or the purchaser, explaining that there was
a clause in the transaction that tied them to secrecy. Government's Land Tax, Land Registry and Corporate Affairs departments also showed no record of the sale.
But a source close
to the tourism industry said it was bought by a British-owned investment firm that owns other large properties on the "gold coast".
Chefette Holetown opened in December 1993.