The National Gas Company (NGC) was registered at the Belize Companies Registry on April 20, 2016. Currently the company has seven shareholders and has not really been heard about until last year when the idea to nationalize the importation and distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was brought at the House of Representatives when the Liquefied Petroleum Bill was passed. With the NGC coming on the scene, butane importers have now been limited to only local distribution. At the forefront of this fight is Attorney Audrey Matura who has expressed major concerns over the fact that the majority shareholder is a company registered in the United States with the Government having the second majority shares in the company. For context we bring you this clip from Attorney Matura.
Audrey Matura, Attorney: “We’re moving from a free market, a free industry, where companies compete with each other and try get the best prices to a monopoly where one company gets to do it all and that company interestingly the majority or the largest amount of shares is owned by a foreign company based in Minnesota.”
The majority shareholder in the National Gas Company is BWT Holdings LLLP based in Minnesota, USA, owned by Brad Freking. BWT Holdings hold seven thousand eight hundred shares in the NGC followed by the Government of Belize who holds five thousand shares. There are other shareholders in the company whose name might ring a bell or two. According to the documents we have obtained, Innovative Energy Solutions has 2,400 shares with its directors being the former Chief Executive Officer for Belize Natural Energy (BNE), Dr Gilbert Canton as well as Jonathon Canton and David Morales. Interestingly, the shareholders in Innovative Energy Solutions are listed as the law firm of Belize’s Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte and another company, Kunahmul Farms, owned by Dr Canton and his wife, Pandora. The other shareholders have 1,200 shares each and these include M&M Limited, directed by Marion J Usher, Marion M Usher and Clement Usher; G.A. Roe & Sons Limited with its Directors being Adrian Roe, Alasdair Roe, Trevor Roe and Gordon Christopher Roe along with Eugene Jex, Michael Jones and Stuart Goldsmith. Bedco Limited directed by Abdalla Escander Bedran and Josephine Bedran are also shareholders in the National Gas Company along with and Bowen & Bowen Limited directed by Kevin and Michael Bowen. Our newsroom has been trying to contact Dr Canton since last week to get his comments on the concerns raised by Attorney Matura but our calls and text messages have gone unanswered.