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Grace acquires minority stake in GraceKennedy Belize

Published:Friday | October 5, 2012 | 3:47 PM

The GraceKennedy Group has acquired the 33.3 per cent interest of the minority shareholder in GraceKennedy Belize, effective September 28.

This gives the Jamaican conglomerate outright ownership of the Central American outfit.

GraceKennedy’s operation in Belize started 30 years ago, and was the result of a collaboration between the company and its former chairman A. Rafael Diaz and the Espat family in Belize.

It was led by well-known Belize businessman Roberto Espat, Snr. Espat Snr., Roberto Espat Jnr. and 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, Espat recently decided to sell his minority stake in the company and in keeping with the shareholders’ agreement his shares were offered to GraceKennedy.

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,” he said.

GraceKennedy Group CEO, Don Wehby added that “this move is in keeping with the … vision of becoming a global consumer group.”

He said “GraceKennedy has enjoyed the collaboration during the years of the partnership, which was of mutual benefit to the partners.”

GraceKennedy (Belize) Limited imports and distributes a wide range of food and non-food grocery items throughout the country. The company is the exclusive distributor of Grace and Grace-owned branded products in Belize.