ANGOSTURA will be producing 25,000 bottles of sanitising products, which will be distributed firstly to public hospitals, members of the protective services and health centres at no cost to them to help with the current pandemic of COVID-19.
Angostura chairman Terrence Bharath, at a news conference yesterday morning, said the company decided last week to manufacture hand sanitisers and sanitiser liquids from its own alcohol, in light of the shortage of sanitising products in T&T due to the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
“This is not an initiative being done to enter into the hand sanitisers market, what we want to do is to do our civic duty and assist the population in combating this virus.”
Bharath said that Angostura is currently modernising its wastewater treatment plant, therefore alcohol production has been reduced.
“The company, in anticipation of the wastewater treatment plant being modernised, had stocked up its alcohol as the plant would have throttle back significantly. In the midst of the throttle back, the COVID-19 came along.
“We have been inundated with requests by various companies for alcohol to make hand sanitisers as it is in short supplies at pharmacies and retail stores.”
The Angostura chairman said the company will try to assist as much as it can even in its time of low production of alcohol.
“I am sending a stern warning to businesses that Angostura will play no part in price gouging. We do not want people to come and buy alcohol from us, to make hand sanitisers to profit from the public in a significant manner, to take advantage of unfortunate circumstances. If any company is found taking part in such activity, Angostura will not sell alcohol to the them,” said Bharath.
Also speaking at the new conference was Angostura’s chief operating officer, Ian Forbes, who said the blend was formulated in the company’s laboratory and assured that the hand sanitisers and sanitiser liquids are 70 per cent ethanol and combined with hydrogen peroxide which has been recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be effective against the virus.
Angostura, which is headquartered in Laventille, is the producer of the world-famous bitters.
The company is publicly listed on the T&T Stock Exchange and its shareholding was once dominated by the CL Financial group, which at one time owned close to 80 per cent of the company, before the conglomerate collapsed in 2009.
Corporation Sole, the entity into which the State’s shareholdings is placed, acquired 29.90 per cent of Angostura in 2018, in exchange for the reduction of CLICO’s debt to the Government. The 61,677,011 shares that Corporation Sole acquired from CLICO were placed in 2018 in the National Investment Fund vehicle, which then issued three tranches of asset-backed, corporate bonds.
For the nine months ending September 30, 2019—its latest financial reports—Angostura declared after-tax profit of $80.1 million, 12 per cent more than the previous year.