Dominican company acquires 50% stake in two flour mills

by Teresa Acklin
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   SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — A spaghetti, cracker and cookie manufacturer in the Dominican Republic was the high bidder for a 50% interest in two state-owned flour mills.

   Malla & Compania bid U.S.$16.3 million for its share in the milling business and assumed U.S.$46.3 million of its total debt, according to the Santo Domingo News. The newspaper said four U.S. companies were among seven bidders.

   The two flour mills — which were renamed Molinos del Ozama — included the Molinos Dominicanos mill in Santo Domingo and its sister mill Molinos del Norte at Puerto Plata. According to the “1999 Grain & Milling Annual” published by Sosland Publishing Co., Molinos Dominicanos is the largest flour mill in the Dominican Republic with daily wheat flour capacity of 995 tonnes; Molinos del Norte has daily wheat flour capacity of 120 tonnes.

   There are two other mills in the Dominican Republic, with combined daily wheat flour capacity of 490 tonnes.

   The sale was the first step in a privatization process in the Dominican Republic, the newspaper reported. State-owned businesses in electricity, sugar and insurance are others scheduled for privatization.