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Aug 31, 2015

G.O.B. to Pay Fortis $70 Million for B.E.L.

Dean Barrow

The Government of Belize has gotten rid of one albatross which has been hanging around its neck since June 2011. That’s when government nationalized Belize Electricity Limited, seizing seventy percent of shares from Fortis, the Canadian company that has assets amounting to twenty-eight billion dollars. Fortis had initially challenged government’s takeover of B.E.L. and the matter has been litigated all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice.  That’s where it is presently, with a decision on the legality of G.O.B.’s appropriation expected this year. But that decision, whatever it would have been, is now moot, since G.O.B. has reached a settlement with Fortis. It was announced this morning at a press conference held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza that in the deal, Fortis is given back shares and compensation.  Flanked by Fortis representatives, the Prime Minister says it was a whirlwind of a negotiation process with the final agreement hammered out in about a month.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“As compensation totality for G.O.B.’s original acquisition of all of Fortis’ seventy percent shareholding in B.E.L., G.O.B. will now pay to Fortis thirty-five million US in cash, seventy million Belize dollars, and G.O.B. gives back to Fortis a thirty-three and a third shareholding interest in B.E.L.  Government keeps the rest of the seventy percent it had acquired, and together with S.S.B. which has something like twenty-six point nine percent, we will continue to own well in excess of the fifty-one percent mandated in the Constitution and required for majority ownership and control. We expect the new arrangement to serve B.E.L. and Belize well. Fortis’ long established multi-national role in energy generation and distribution plus its familiarity with our local circumstances should see it contribute greatly to B.E.L.’s further advance and development. Their expertise and resources will also help Belize in its quest for energy security and sustainability.”

 

Barry Perry

Barry Perry, Chairman, Fortis Inc.

“We believe that the extensive operational experience and technical resources that Fortis has will prove very valuable to the country of Belize. In conclusion I’ll share a short story with you all. At one point in our negotiations the Prime Minister referred to me as the Shiloh. I have to admit I did not know the meaning of the word. I did look it up however. It’s a biblical term and it means ‘one who brings peace.’ Prime Minister I hope that what we’ve done today will be the start of a long and peaceful relationship between Fortis and the Government of Belize.”

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3 Responses for “G.O.B. to Pay Fortis $70 Million for B.E.L.”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Barrow is such a complete #$%^&*()!!! This same deal could have been negotiated in 2011. But Barrow had to demonstrate his ill-guided bombast and created a situation he could not back out of gracefully; or maybe his plot was designed so his henchmen and cohorts could profit from legal fees , consulting fees and other supplemental payments. But again the Belizean taxpayers foot the bill for the immature thinking and behavior of the ineptitude and incompetence of Dean Barrow, the village idiot at large.

  2. Belizean@ heart says:

    sooooooooooo much nonesense and ignorance on dean burro’ barrow-yes its a waste of our tax$$$$$$$$ that was paid to dean barrow lawyers/ex wife lois young barrow to fight against Fortis ltd.WHILE DEAN barrow ex wife is a millionair/and his lawfirm a billionair out of our tax$$$$$$$ THEM have cheated the Belizean people and we have gotten noting out of it.and he is saying that BEL-is for the Belizean people”-Belizean people my a$$$$$$-its for his cronies and his family and friends that are reaping the profits and benefits-we the people no di get noting at allllllll…are you people of Belize?DONT’ TRUST BARROW AND HIS GOVERNMENT THEM DA LONE PIRANIAS EATING THE BELIZEAN PEOPLE AND WE NO DI GET NOTHING,WAKE UP BELIZEANS!

  3. Timber says:

    Exactly my sentiments. This could have happened years ago. This was a bad administrative and financial move for the country from the jump start; just as he did with BTL, These illiterates on the streets and the Belizean public at large still haven’t realized that the country lost and his law firms and those of his friends. This is tantamount to kickbacks and it’s illegal. He should be jailed. He talked about Universal hospital and the PUP, this is worst. I digress.

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