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GK acquires full control of Belize subsidiary

Published:Sunday | October 7, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Don Wehby, group CEO of GraceKennedy Limited.

GraceKennedy Limited (GK) has gained full control of its Belize subsidiary having bought out the one-third holdings of the Espat family. The terms of the transaction which closed September 28 were not disclosed.

GraceKennedy Belize Limited founded in 1982 trades in food and beverages, as well as non-food grocery items, and is an exclusive distributor of Grace-branded products in the Central American country.

The 30-year partnership was negotiated under the leadership of former GK Chairman Rafael Diaz with the Espat family, led by Roberto Espat Sr.

"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," said GK Group CEO Don Wehby in a release announcing the acquisition.

GK said the shares were offered up by Espat who wanted to sell the family holdings of 33.33 per cent.

Espat Sr, Roberto Espat Jr and Rosemarie Espat have sat on the GK Belize board since January 1982, said GK on Friday.

GK, which has management control of the company, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the value of the transaction and the expected board and management changes.

"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," said CEO of GK Foods, Michael Ranglin, in the release.

business@gleanerjm.com