Alfredo Cassini, Director of Operations (COO for its acronym in English) of the Argentine Lequio Groupdetailed in dialogue with scope.com the progress made in the implementation of the Florida Refrigeratoracquired last December, and announced that the work will begin in a month and a half.
Cassini commented that the work at the plant, located in the department of Floridaare in the last stage of adjustments for the start-up plan and are awaiting official certifications to be able to start operating at the end of April or beginning of May with the first operation.
Regarding the forecasts of being 100 percent operational in the second half of this year, Cassini stressed that the goal is to be at maximum capacity at the end of the year.
With regard to the incorporation of the workers of the Florida Refrigerator who are with unemployment insurance, the director of the Lequio group remarked to this medium that it will be gradual. “We are going to start with a team of between 50 and 70 people. Today we have 15 working and then we will grow until we reach the maximum volume of employment of 300 people approximately”, he detailed.
The drought that worries
Cassini admitted that the drought It is also a matter of concern for the company, both in Uruguay like in Argentina.
However, he remarked that the refrigerator, due to the volume of activity that it expects to be at its maximum until the end of this year, should not have any problems getting heads. “We don’t have such a large job that the supply is complex,” he explained. “Although we are concerned, we will continue to hold on to the price and surely, with the volume that we are going to handle, we will be able to complete without major inconveniences,” he added.
How was the agreement between BROU and Grupo Lequio
In early December, the Republic Bank (BROU) bought the Refrigerator with an investment of 6 million dollars, although from the beginning the negotiation with the Lequio Groupwhich was interested in acquiring the facilities of 14 hectares and 6,000 square meters of industrial plant and machinery to expand its operations in the meat industry.
In this way, and in a few days —as highlighted by the mayor of Florida, William Lopez—, the second purchase of the refrigerator that had been paralyzed since mid-2019 was completed, after the Venezuelan firm Clademar -Part of Zambrano Venezuelan Group—, owner of the property, did not comply with the payment commitments assumed.
With the agreement between the parties closed in record time, the Lequio Group will pay a total of 8 million dollars for Frigorífico Florida, which the bank acquired on December 7 through a public auction. Of this total, the Argentine group that is dedicated to the meat industry and with extensive experience in the sector, paid 2.4 million dollars (30%) in cash, while the BROU will finance the remaining 70%.