Despite fears by local wholesalers that such a move could drive them out of business, the Christie administration is expected to make a decision soon on whether Bahamas Food Services (BFS) will be sold to North American food service giant Sysco.
In order for the company to be sold government must first approve the deal.
BFS, formerly known as Island Sea Food (ISF), is owned by Ben Frisch, who operates out of Jacksonville, Florida.
Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities and lodging establishments.
The company made $37 billion in sales in 2010 alone and has more than 400,000 clients in a wide array of fields.
Prime Minister Perry Christie confirmed yesterday that the government has been in discussions with the local wholesalers.
“The difficulty is when you have a company that is totally owned by a foreigner and he’s been given permission to own that company and he has to sell it to another foreigner as I indicated it’s difficult to find a reason to say we can’t sell in this kind of economy,” he said.
“What you can do, if there’s apprehension that the company is so big it will muscle out other Bahamian companies, is the government can control that reality.”
He continued, “It’s not a decision that will be delayed much longer. It’s a process that we’re going to go through and make a decision on it.”
Proponents feel Sysco would be able to service the Atlantis Paradise Island resort and Baha Mar when it officially opens for business in December 2014.
But Bahamian wholesalers fear a powerful company like Sysco could force them to close up shop.
Super Value President Rupert Roberts recently said the government should focus on keeping money in the country.
But Phil Lightbourne, owner of Phil’s Food Services on Gladstone Road, feels Sysco would be able to meet the needs of the country’s clients.