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Feb 16, 2011

Is there an offer to buyout Belize Sugar Industry?

The sugar industry is still at a standstill tonight as Belize Sugar Industries is inoperable because of malfunctioning turbines at the BELCOGEN plant.  Loans with I.N.G. and First Caribbean International Banks are still outstanding and B.S.I. was hoping that it would attract a new financier in the form of Banco Atlantida from Honduras.  After representatives of the bank visited the factory, the prime minister indicated that Banco Atlantida did not want to finance but to broker a buyout of the factory. News Five spoke to the Chairman of the Committee of Management of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association who says that he has only heard that offer from the P.M.

Dean Barrow (File: February 9, 2011)

Dean Barrow

“They want to do more than finance. They want to buy the sugar factory. Now that’s a whole ‘nother story. The majority of shares in that factory are owned by an employee’s trust. I don’t know what will happen if Banco Atlantida pursues its interests in purchasing the factory. They had done a detailed tour of B.S.I.—they had done a detail examination of the industry. They made a couple of trips and they brought people from Central American Sugar Manufacturers Association and they felt, at least in terms of what they expressed to me, that the factory was worth purchasing.

Alfredo Ortega

Alfredo Ortega, Chairman Committee of Management, B.S.C.F.A.

“I heard it from the Prime Minister the day before his press conference. I had a phone conversation with him and he informed me that the Banco Atlántida had the interest on buying out B.S.I. But I had a call from Mister Joey Montalvo on Saturday and mentioned to me that they haven’t engaged in any negotiation with Banco Atlántida in regards to a buyout. What they were negotiating with Banco Atlántida was to [have] Banco Atlántida take over the loan that they had with I.N.G. That is what I know as far as at this point in time.”

Jose Sanchez

“Is the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association interested in keeping B.S.I. the way it is or would like to see it sold off?”

Alfredo Ortega

“Well really and truly that’s something that—what we would like to see is betterment in regards to the operation of the mill. It is true it’s good for us to have a good owner on it, but the best interest for us is to see that the mill is running quite good that the farmers are not having any delay as how we are having at this point in time. We don’t really have any queries in regards to ownership, but what we would like to see that the factory is running in good conditions for the full crop.”

Jose Sanchez

“At this point with this current delay, what are farmers doing?”

Alfredo Ortega

“Well thanks god that we managed to get the herbicide and we have started distribution to the different branches so many farmers have already started spraying their field that they have already harvested and we are very, very close to get the fertilizer so that we can start distribution as of next week so that the farmers can use this time out of crop (as we can say) to do their necessary husbandry on their fields.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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6 Responses for “Is there an offer to buyout Belize Sugar Industry?”

  1. Earl Grey says:



  2. wit out struggle thers is no progress says:

    If an outside entity came and wants to buy out one of our biggest industry……’nt that a sign that we sold keep it…

  3. wit out struggle thers is no progress says:

    Sorry…. i meant ……….we should keep it

  4. Ramon Cervantes says:

    Someone is lying. If it is not the PM, then he should come out again and restate what he said because the sugar industry is too serious for people to be playing games. The fact remains that the farmers and the factory workers must own the whole industry for our nation to truly benefit. Sugar has a great potential…the future trend of sugar is only upwards. It should be the people of Belize that should own the factory and benefit, not Tate and Lyle who has squeezed us for too long and not Grupo Atlantida and not any other private capital group. We Belizeans must control our own destiny.

  5. Mario Miranda says:

    I agree with Mr Cevantes when he states that Belizeans are the ones who should benefit but again i think that sugar should start to be replaced with somehthing else (rice, beans, etc) based on potential and compromise of the belizean government and people. The trend of sugar industry is not favourable to a small country like Belize. government has to support a diversification of the agriculture industry. Lets no blame anyone, ( and I have absolutley no intention to defend the PM) we have to be realistic that BSI has been mismanaged for quite some time and the burden is on the poor cañero.

  6. ed tun says:

    instead of building more industries sell the only once there is .like the crab backwards, belizean governments are good at selling out the country .how long has it been since the governmet has opened a new industry for belizeans in belize providing jobs and income for the nation? look at the papaya industry papayas being sold in florida right how our leaders couldn’t see that .selling out the country’s infastructures and industries
    is only good for the foren invester .
    i hope that things turn around for belizeans.

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