Details have emerged about the approach made by the little known company, ICON INC which is based in Grenville, St Andrew to sell a large quantity of cement to Gravel & Concrete but the proposal was rejected by the Board of Directors.
A spokesman for the company told THE NEW TODAY that he was not involved in any underhand deal to get the state-owned company to purchase the cement which came out of neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago.
Two of the Directors of Gravel & Concrete including the Chairman of the Board of Directors Sylvester Quarless are known to be from the St. Andrew area.
According to the official who is associated with ICON INC, he came into contact with the cement deal “purely accidentally” as the Trinidadians were looking for a legal representative in Grenada to go after a local company which owed them “ a lot of money” for the product.
The company is believed to be operating in the deep south of the island and is known to be owned by a businessman from rural Grenada.
The ICON INC official said that the Trinidadians who manufacture the Hard Rock cement had stopped making any shipments to Grenada due to their financial losses but was still interested in doing business with the island.
He spoke of seeing an opportunity to make some money and a proposal was made to him about a shipment of cement.
He said he looked at the major users of cement on the island and knew that one of them was Gravel & Concrete.
He added that ICON INC, which was in existence since 2003 and focusing on Real Estate, decided to explore the possibility.
He said he wrote an official letter to the General Manager of the company on the issue and copied it to Board Chairman Quarless and the Operations Chief but they never got back to him.
According to the businessman, he told Gravel & Concrete in the letter that this was a good opportunity for the company to purchase cement at a good price and below what is currently offered on the market.
“I left that alone. I just sent a letter, I didn’t speak to anybody. They never responded. I never pursued it. I have never gone back to them, I have never engaged anyone of them. The manager could say I never talked to him”.
“I won’t force Gravel & Concrete to buy cement from me. That’s not my style. I wrote them an official letter. I didn’t go behind no manager’s back and try and cut a deal – I am not in that.”
“I contacted other people, they said yes we want the cement – it is a good cement, it’s stronger, they getting it cheaper – why not?”
THE NEW TODAY understands that two local companies, one that is engaged in pouring concrete cement on construction sites and the other is a hardware store, purchased the entire shipment of cement from Hard Rock.
The businessman disclosed that ICON INC was looking at getting the distributorship for Hard Rock cement into Grenada and to bring back the product into the country.
He denied that controversial Board Member William Baptiste who is under pressure from some Board members to quit was the one who went to the meeting of Directors with the proposal from his company.
“He (Baptiste) never raised that issue. I understand that Quarless raised the issue,” he said.
The businessman said he understood that Quarless informed the Board that he got a letter from ICON INC offering cement at a low price and that they should look at the offer.
He said he was prepared to give Gravel & Concrete 60 days credit on the purchase of the Hard Rock cement.
Saying that relying on cement solely from the other major distributor TLC was not in Grenada’s best interest as this was “an unreliable market” supplier because “every day cement is short and if we have a problem in Grenada then we will be out” of Cement in the construction sector.
He said the intention was to bring back a second supplier of cement on the island “so we could have at least two suppliers” to service the market.