The GraceKennedy Group has announced the acquisition of the 33 1/3% interest of the minority shareholder in GraceKennedy (Belize) Limited (“GK Belize”) effective September 28, 2012, with the GraceKennedy Group now owning all of the shares in GK Belize.
GraceKennedy’s operations in Belize started 30 years ago, and was the result of a collaboration between GraceKennedy Limited and its former Chairman, Mr. A. Rafael Diaz, and the Espat family in Belize, led by well known Belize businessman, Mr. Roberto Espat, Snr. Messrs. Roberto Espat Snr., Roberto Espat Jnr. and Mrs. Rosemarie Espat have been active board members of GK Belize since January, 1982.
GraceKennedy has been the majority shareholder and business operator since the inception of GK Belize. However, Mr. Espat recently decided to sell his minority stake in the company, and in keeping with the shareholders’ agreement, his shares were offered to GraceKennedy.
GK Belize, through its shareholders, employees and customers, has built an important business for GraceKennedy in this Central American market. CEO of GK Foods, Michael Ranglin reiterated GK Belize’s commitment to its customers and consumers. “We will continue to be the company that is known and loved in Belize for its quality offerings. It is our intent to grow the business even more significantly there and we look forward to doing that in our new capacity as full owners.”
GraceKennedy Group CEO, Don Wehby added that “This move is in keeping with the GraceKennedy Group’s vision of becoming a global consumer group.” He went on to thank the Espat family for the years of successful partnership and association through this joint venture. “GraceKennedy has enjoyed the collaboration during the years of the partnership which was of mutual benefit to the partners.
The Espats were great to work with in developing the business over the last 30 years. We wish them all the very best in their future endeavours,” he said.
GraceKennedy (Belize) Limited is involved in the importation and distribution of a wide range of food and non-food grocery items throughout the country of Belize. The company is the exclusive distributor of Grace and Grace owned branded products in Belize.