The Absence of Mergers and Acquisitions in the OECS

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OECS Islands

Windward and Leeward Islands in the Caribbean

In recent times conglomerates in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica have been engaged in significant cross border mergers and acquisitions (M & A). This activity has taken place in the banking, financial, wholesale, retail and some manufacturing sectors. In the OECS Dominica’s National Commercial Bank recognizing its individual limitations and the need to position itself to be able to maximize the opportunities in CSME, purchased majority share in Caribbean Financial Services Corporation (CFSC) of Barbados. However outside of the activity of the indigenous banks of the OECS, there has been no significant cross border purchases from the OECS either;

  • to the wider region, or
  • within the sub region itself.

A starting point must be agglomeration of firms within the individual OECS territories themselves, where this activity is almost absent.

M & A activity is a key feature in the development, growth and competitiveness of firms. The absence of such activity within the OECS, has to be of concern, particularly in regards to the competitiveness of firms in the sub region. What must be done within the individual territories and at the OECS secretariat level to facilitate such activities?

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