After being in operations for the past five and a half years, the island’s only manufacturer of tissue paper, Nature Island Paper Products Inc (NIPP) is up for sale.
General Manager, Severin Mckenzie made the announcement at its Canefield Industrial Estate site on Tuesday saying over the years the company has faced with many challenges.
“Effective immediately the facility will be exposed for sale on the open market,” he said. “We are confident that the facility is and can be a viable investment given in a conducive environment. The machinery is state of the art, relatively new and highly energy efficient. The quality of our products is superior and in most cases equal to that of the imported competition and we have secured some reliable local markets.”
However, he stated, with all these factors that should have given company the competitive advantage “the company continues to experience no sale.”
“After five and a half years of operations, Nature Island Paper Products Inc has conducted an analytical exercise of the company’s performance and its place in the Dominican economy,” he explained. “We have conducted a swot analysis to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the company and as a result of this analysis, we have concluded that a major paradigm shift is required, which will affect the very existence of Nature Island Paper Products Inc as a private company individually owned.”
According to him since in operations the company has contributed over $700,000 towards wages of its employees, excluding management.
It also, “saved the Dominican economy over $500,000 in foreign exchange, created an average of 15 sustainable jobs and most significantly had assisted in maintaining the price of toilet tissue on the market without a price increase,” he noted.
McKenzie stated that the company’s weaknesses lay in the fact that it cannot compete with imported products, the “inability to expand into the other products over the last five years, limited access to funding, lack of resources to embark on a promotional campaign to take advantage of the greater share of the market.”
He revealed that the company has been operating at less than 25 percent of its real capacity.
“So given the opportunity to operate at 100 percent of our full capacity, this company can, in fact, be thriving,” Mckenzie explained.
He stated that four approaches will be taken in selling the company.
“We will be putting the facility on the open market for sale and whichever investor is interested to purchase at our price we will make it available to them, we will make an offer to the government of Dominica as to whether they would be interested in purchasing the facility,” he explained. “We are in negotiations with some regional counterparts who may be interested in coming in and take over and we are going to create a facility and put a mechanism in place and make an offer to the wider Dominica public.”
“So it is an offer to the Dominican population that if they want they can put their resources together to purchase the company and let it be a people’s company…,” he said.“Our intention is to open an account at National Bank with an independent adjudicator, basically an account where people can put in their investments towards that company and will give them a window of three to six months to see if the Dominican population can raise the funds to purchase the company while we pursue the other options.”
He made it clear that the sale of the company will go to the highest bidder.
NIPP started operations on the September 1st, 2010 with the production of toilet paper, the first and only manufacturing facility of that kind in Dominica.
Market research in 2009 revealed that there were about twelve different brands of imported toilet paper on the market
A recent survey conducted by the company in January 2016 identified 35 different brands of imported toilet paper on the market in Roseau and possibly more in Portsmouth
The cost analysis of the production of toilet tissue on island indicated that if the raw materials were imported for the production of toilet tissue rolls the Dominican economy would possibly save 60 cents on every dollar in foreign exchange for the purchase of toilet tissue and a significant amount of jobs could be created.