The Boards of Belize Sugar Industries Limited and American Sugar Refining Limited are pleased to announce the successful completion of the investment transaction through which ASR has secured a majority equity shareholding of 78.6% in the BSI Group for a total consideration of US$64.8 million. The existing shareholders in BSI including BSI Employee Holdings Limited hold the remaining 21.4% of the shares.

Through this investment, the debts owed by BSI to ING and to the Belcogen consortium of lenders were completely paid off. The Government of Belize was also repaid its BZ$10 millionvdollar loan to BSI.

The ASR and its affiliates form one of the world’s largest integrated sugar businesses with fivesugar mills in the United States, Dominican Republic and Mexico, and ASR is the largest sugarrefiner in the world with processing capacity of approximately 6 million tonnes. The investment by ASR secures into the foreseeable future significant international sugar markets for BSI and foreign currency income for Belize.

ASR is fully cognisant of the economic importance of the sugar industry to Belize and is committed to the development and productivity improvement of the cane and sugar sector. ASR and BSI look forward to developing and nurturing the working relationship with sugar industry stakeholders in Belize to achieve sector productivity improvements. ASR’s investment will maximize the potential of the Belize sugar industry by promoting expansion and improving returns which will ultimately benefit all stakeholders including in particular cane farmers and assure long term job security for BSI employees.

BSI is committed to a strategic plan aimed at sustaining profitability through increased operating efficiencies, increased production capacity to capitalize on marketing opportunities and increase and diversify its value-added products. ASR’s long term commitment to BSI includes the supply of international operational and project support expertise to advise BSI management, drawing on experienced staff from throughout its global business operations.

The Government of Belize continues to remain fully engaged and supportive of efforts to ensure the sugar industry of Belize remains viable in a more competitive global environment.

3 October 2012 (source: Belize Sugar Industries Limited)

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