A chance look out of the window, and a leisurely drive with his wife, have been credited by Warren Jones, chief executive officer of Polaris Holding Company Ltd, as helping to pave the way for his company’s acquisition of East End Asphalt Company Limited.

The $4 million deal, consummated yesterday and announced today, comes after a year of discussions.

The addition of the 51-year-old paving operation adds to Polaris’ existing portfolio which includes Stevedoring Services Limited, Equipment, Sales and Rental, and Mill Reach Holding Limited.

Polaris inherits East End’s staff of ten full-time employees, and one part-time worker. Mr Jones said no redundancies are planned.

“We held a board strategy session about 18 months ago, and identified that the type of acquisition we were looking for involved labour and heavy equipment as we were looking to stick to our strengths,” Mr Jones said.

“We didn’t have East End Asphalt in mind, but then about a year ago, I saw that they were paving the dock. A little birdie whispered to me, and from that our conversation started with Nick Faries [East End Group president]. We entered serious discussions from that point. While we were thinking about the acquisition, I was out for a drive with my wife one day. I was paying attention to my surroundings and I noticed that very few people in Bermuda don’t have a driveway. It was a good business from our standpoint.

“No transition is smooth sailing, but there was never a time during the last year that no discussions were going on. It was a complex deal.”

In a statement issued by the company, Mr Jones said: “Strategically, we identified the value of diversification for the group and prioritised the expansion of our portfolio early on.

“East End Asphalt is the right company to take us on the next step of our corporate journey. East End enjoys market dominance and offers unique products and services to serve residential, commercial and national interests.

“At Polaris, we are positioned to leverage its synergies with our existing subsidiaries and drive growth in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer categories.”

Cheryl Hayward-Chew, board chairman of Polaris, said in a statement: “We are pleased to offer our shareholders the benefit of diversification and an enhanced portfolio. In our search for a quality operation that would be a good fit, we focused on growth potential, future profitability, and a sector aligned with our industrial leanings. East End Asphalt ticked all the boxes.”

Speaking at today’s press conference, she said: “We had a goal of diversifying with a new company and new industry that matched our own strengths. I would hope and assume that our shareholders will be extremely excited about this acquisition, before which we literally had all of our eggs in one basket. We are branching out, diversifying, and that will give greater value to our shares.”

Mr Jones said the company has no plans for further expansion. “We have to work our way through this transition and learn a new business, which takes some time,” he said.

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