Kirk buys Kendel

KIRK Distributors, a member of the Glenford ‘Glen’ Christian-controlled Cari-Med group of companies, has acquired Kendel Trade Corporation for an undisclosed sum.

The deal more than doubles the size of Kirk’s food distribution portfolio as the company looks to expand into the largest segment of the fast-moving consumer goods market, Kirk General Manager Lanna Bennett told the Business Observer yesterday.


“It’s an area you have to be in for future growth and expansion of the business,” Bennett said. “It’s the area for the masses.”

Founded 25 years ago by Wilson and Deloris Look Kin, Kendel has an extensive range of products under the Kendel, Good n Natural, KenClean, and Ultra Lovable diaper brands. Among the food products Kirk brings on board with the transaction are Kendel and Good n Natural-branded Ginger Tea, Vegetable Oil, White Rice, Canned Mackerel and Coconut Milk Powder.

“I am extremely delighted as this is a category which will strengthen our position in the food distribution business. This new venture affords us the opportunity to expand our existing product portfolio as we continue to work with our local manufacturers and other key stakeholders in delivering quality products and service to our consumers,” said Glen Christian, founder and chairman of Kirk, a leading distributor of oral care, personal care, home care and baby care products.

The Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston-based Kirk Distributors was formed in 2005 by Christian, a Jamaica Observer Business Leader and Lifetime Achievement awardee, to take over distributorship of Colgate-Palmolive products in Jamaica. In addition to the Colgate range of products, Kirk also distributes popular local and international brands such as Johnson and Johnson, Niagra Spray starch, Sarah Lee, Clorox, Voortman Cookies, JP Foods and Coffee Traders.

Kirk Distributors said it will retain the 30 employees of Kendell Corporation during the transition period, bringing its total staff complement to 203, with a view to integrating them into the company’s operations.

“All will will be initially employed to Kirk, until we complete our transition and analysis,” Bennett disclosed.

Kirk and Cari-Med, the pharmaceutical empire founded by Christian in 1986, have a combined workforce of 700.