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Nine-million-dollar SSB loan application for distillery withdrawn

Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2024. 2:55 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: According to KREM News, while sources differ as to who pulled the plug, the proposed $9 million loan investment in Belize Premium Spirits and Liquors (BPSL) for the construction of a new distillery, the purchase of equipment and working capital has been halted.

SSB Chief Executive Officer Deborah Ruiz confirmed to KREM News that the loan proposal is closed because they were unable to move forward. Other reports say that principal Waldir Cuello himself withdrew his application.

The loan attracted strong objections after it was first proposed in November from the Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Public Service Union (PSU), both over the parameters of the Board’s Investment Committee.

Within the industry, Cuello’s Distillery Limited as well as Travellers Liquors Limited objected on grounds of competition. Waldir Cuello is one of the Cuello brothers who were partners in the company that came to be known as Cuello’s Distillery Limited, founded by their father.

 

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