WHITEFISH, MT / June 5, 2014 / Blue Water Global Group, Inc. (BLUU) is employing a dual approach to capture significant market share in the Caribbean casual dining restaurant and rum markets, while also leveraging sizeable, early equity positions in exciting private companies that are interested in going public.Blue Water Bar & Grill(TM)
Blue Water Bar & Grill(TM), a Caribbean theme-based restaurant brand, is designed to cater to the largest segment of global cruise passengers: North American tourists. The planned growth of the company’s restaurant division is mapped out physically along all the major ports of callfor the big cruise lines spread throughout the Caribbean region. This expansion plan has the ability to piggyback off success in the steadily growing cruise industry to great effect.
With 13 new ships entering the global cruise industry last year and another 15 planned for 2014, passenger volume is projected to be up by 2% this year. This industry growth continues to be led by the dominant Caribbean region, which accounted for 34.4% of global passengers in 2013. These trends combine to make BLUU’s strategy look not only superbly conceived, but well timed to boot.
With the typical ship dropping over 2,500 passengers and around 500 crew members, conservatively generating some $226k in expenditures during a single visit, the concept of the Blue Water Bar & Grill addresses a target-saturated environment. Reliably good food from location to location, served in a manner which feels familiar yet has the flavor of the Caribbean thematically evoked, should be a winning venue strategy for these tourists.
The company’s initial location on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, Dutch West Indies, currently sees in-season daily vessel counts as high as 8 to 10, dropping off some 30,000 to 35,000 people in a single afternoon. St. Maarten is a duty-free shopping Mecca with numerous pristine beaches and attractions, meaning big traffic volumes that make BLUU’s appropriately themed casual dining experience, which readily appeals to North American tourists, a big potential driver. Development of the Blue Water Bar & Grill in St. Maarten is progressing nicely, with an update report issued in late May of 2014 that indicates permitting applications are going in and the final drawings/renderings of the architectural design should be out shortly. Photos of the largely negotiated beachfront area will also be going live on the company’s website and Facebook page soon as well.
With roughly 1.79M cruise passengers having come to the Port of St. Maarten in 2013 (631 vessel calls) according to the port’s own data, the volume of tourists was up 1.85% over the record set in 2012 and 2014 is set to keep pace with this performance, especially as the port celebrates its 50th anniversary. St. Maarten can even handle the Oasis Class, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) ships, which are the world’s biggest passenger vessels, with around 5,400 passengers per ship at capacity and nearly 2,400 crew members.
The planned roll out of restaurants calls for a new location about once per year, with growth tailored to each new port of call. Additional primary targets for new locations currently on the horizon include Aruba, Barbados, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Nassau. Management anticipates that if they can get a location established in each of these primary targets, the restaurant division will become a very attractive take-over target. Key location parameters for new locations include proximity to the primary point of entry, as well as to hotels and other accommodations, with beachfront and waterfront being seen as critical factors when it comes to a given location’s success. High overall traffic density is also important when choosing locations, given the capacity of locals to sustain the business year round and during the periodic lulls in tourism.
The Caribbean casual dining market is largely dominated by either high-end gourmet restaurants or un-themed mom and pop type operations which lack food quality, menu, and service consistency, and which are typically focused on gouging tourists with high prices. Very little emphasis from the mom and pop operations is placed on generating repeat business or building a brand, making the market particularly ripe for the pickings to a coordinated, themed approach like the one BLUU has put together. A majority of Caribbean tourists come from Canada or the U.S. where the market is already saturated with branded franchise and themed restaurants, like the Pollo Tropical brand of fast casual restaurants, which serve a range of tropical and Caribbean inspired foods, by Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (FRGI), and sector giant, Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI), who is best known for their Olive Garden and Red Lobster brands, but also has a nice Caribbean vector going with their Bahama Breeze restaurants.
Blue Water Distilled Spirits
A significant, secondary stream of revenue from Blue Water’s restaurant segment will likely be derived from Blue Water Bar & Grill-branded memorabilia, like beach towels, t-shirts and other items, using a merchandising model similar to that of Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc., which actually makes most of their money off this branded merchandise stream. The company’s brand merchandising strategy is even giving birth to a product series instantly recognized on its own as a classic piece of Caribbean memorabilia, rum, a product that is also ideally suited to the company’s target market. BLUU’s first planned offering in this product series, Blue Water Ultra Premium Rum™ (to be followed shortly thereafter by smooth spiced and seasonal holiday spiced versions), is a high-end white rum designed for smooth drinkability.
Plans are to eventually ramp into the North American premium spirits market following successful localized distribution, and Nassau is already established as a choice interim target. The distilled spirits market is huge, with players like Diageo plc’s (NYSE:DEO) Captain Morgan brand of rum standing out as an obvious analog. The sky is the limit for Blue Water Ultra Premium Rum in the global market long-term.
Public Company Equity
The third division of BLUU’s architecture covers investment in private companies who are looking to list stock on the public markets. President and CEO of Blue Water Global Group, J. Scott Sitra, has a background in securities law that stretches back to 1987 and his extensive history handling the nuanced process of taking companies public, from SEC filings and registration statements to ensuring FINRA/SEC compliance, is a huge boon for this division. Sitra’s expertise in this area is also instrumental in his role over at Taurus Financial Partners, LLC, which Sitra founded in 2010 and where he is also currently President and CEO.
Through a strategic alliance agreement with Taurus, Blue Water Global Group is able to participate in prospective companies that are preparing to go public while they are still in the very early stages, with BLUU getting a nice block of stock in exchange for covering the procedure costs. A percentage of the large equity position thusly obtained by Blue Water is held for the company’s account, with the remainder shared to stockholders as a special stock dividend for being loyal. This relationship with Taurus grants the company the capacity to head-hunt private companies for some nice upside which can also be liquidated at a future date in order to accelerate growth in the company’s other divisions, while also satisfying an investor retention role. The company has completed one such investment, and is closing in on a second deal soon.
Blue Water Global Group’s restaurant, distilled spirits and investment divisions form a stable foundation that has potentially consistent revenue generation on the one hand with their highly targeted restaurants and rum, as well as dynamic growth prospects on the other via participation in early-stage companies and registered future spin-offs. The best of both worlds really, with a large and growing target market underwritten by the booming cruise industry in the Caribbean, and genuinely exciting potential equity investment upside that can be readily converted into additional momentum for the core business. Investors may want to keep an eye on Blue Water as the company develops.
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