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Top 300 Locally Owned Companies Continue Setting Highs


November 2, 2000
Copyright © 2000 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Revenues range from $11.1 million to $2.2 billion; Employment reaches almost 125,000

New records were set again this year in the CARIBBEAN BUSINESS Top 300 Locally Owned Companies (Top 300) as total revenues for the select group reached $20.2 billion and the lowest ranked company broke into the $11 million range.

Collectively, the Top 300 companies posted a $1.2 billion increase in revenue from the $19 billion registered last year, a remarkable 6.3% hike. The top two companies — Popular Inc. and Triple-S Management Corp. — broke into the $2 billion and $1 billion in revenues, respectively.

Altogether, the Top 300 employed almost 125,000 workers, more than 10% of Puerto Rico’s average total employed labor force in 1999.

Wholesale dominates again

The Top 300 chart was divided into 13 categories: wholesale, retail, service, construction, manufacturing, automobile, healthcare, insurance, financial institutions, agriculture, environment, advertising and real estate.

Of these, wholesale once again dominated in number of companies, 67 or 22.3% of the Top 300 companies. Retail followed with 47 companies or 15.7%; service had 42 companies or 14%; construction had 39 companies or 13%; and manufacturing had 30 companies or 10%. (For the remaining categories, please refer to the accompanying pie chart. Also, for the Top 10 companies in nine of the categories, please see pages S - .)

Revenue-wise the wholesale sector generated $3.8 billion; financial institutions $3.7 billion; and retail, $3.5 billion. These three sectors combined account for 54.4% of the $20.2 billion total revenue for the 300 companies on the list. The revenue for other industry sectors appears in an accompanying chart.

New companies total 24

Once again, the CARIBBEAN BUSINESS Research Department expanded its efforts to find new companies that could qualify for inclusion in its Top 300 ranking. Company information was gathered not only from the publication’s database, but also from articles, industry charts and from Dun & Bradstreet databases, which compile financial data on almost 30,000 companies in Puerto Rico.

As a result, some 24 new companies debuted this year, including Hospital Auxilio Mutuo de P.R. Inc. (No. 18), the highest-ranking newcomer, with $206.4 million in revenues for 1999; BMJ Foods P.R. Inc., dba Ponderosa (No. 98); Novus Inc. (No. 84); Bared & Sons (No. 248); Ponce School of Medicine (No. 292), and Bora Bora Inc. (No. 219). (For a complete list of newcomers, see accompanying chart.)

In operation since 1984, BMJ Foods — operators of the Ponderosa restaurant chain - did not qualify for a spot on the Top 300 until this year as Grupo Albarran de Mexico controlled 75% of BMJ’s stock. To qualify for inclusion in the list, a company must be 51% locally owned. Earlier this year, BMJ President, Samuel Jove, acquired Grupo Albarran’s stake for $15 million. Jove now controls 80% of the BMJ stock, while sons Sammy and Luis Miguel each own 10% of the stock.

Seven other companies — Andres Reyes Burgos (No. 235), Casablanca Supermarket (No. 8), Johnny Rullan & Co. (No. 287), MA Esteves (No. 275), Parr Auto (No. 261), Ralph Food Warehouse (No. 108), and Taino Motors Corp. (No. 139) — were not on the 1999 Top 300 list, but are not new to the Top 300, having ranked in past editions of the Top 300.

Farewell to 31 companies

Acquisitions by other local companies were responsible for the "departure" of 1999 Top 300 companies GM Group (No. 97), Solstar Corp. (No. 167) and Borden Foods (No. 132). Monllor & Boscio (No. 298) and Alco Corp. (No. 162) are part of Able Sales Co. and Rodriguez & Del Valle Inc., respectively, which continue to be Top 300 companies.

In another transaction this year, Bithorn Travel Corp., the island’s largest travel agency chain, acquired travel wholesaler Solstar dba Travel Network (No. 167 on the 1999 Top 300) for approximately $25 million to $35 million according to industry sources. With the acquisition, Bithorn owns 52 travel agencies islandwide.

Another impressive business deal occurred in 1999, this time between Popular Inc. and GM Group (No. 97 last year). The former acquired GM Group’s stock in exchange for 1.5 million shares of Popular Inc. stock. The deal was worth more that $52.5 million or 35 3/8 per share. GM Group provides information technology services and products in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean markets, including credit card transaction processing for island banks. The 30-year old company has offices in Caracas, Miami, San Juan and Santo Domingo, and boasts clients in 12 Latin American countries.

Not making the $11.10 million cut were Venture Technologies (Habibe Computer), Universal Container, Praxis Associates Inc., MC Distributors, Jafer Construction, Constructora Orama, Compa#ia Petrolera del Caribe, Banco Financiero de P.R., Alonso & Carus Iron Works, and Admark Group.

Other former Top 300 companies such as AA Public Finance, Cooperativa de Consumidores del Noroeste, and Del Nido & Assoc. also missed the cut as the new industry-specific definitions yielded revenues that were below the lowest ranked Top 300 company, Wilmar Construction S.E.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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