The Pellas Legacy
A 135 Year History: In 1875, 25 year-old Francisco Alfredo Pellas Canessa came to Nicaragua to take over the family business, Caribbean Pacific Transit Co., founded by his father Carlos Napoleon.
The young Francisco transformed that company to Nicaragua Steamship Navigation Company with an initial investment of US$ 225,000. With a fleet of 23 ships, he connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans of Nicaragua, becoming an icon in the country.
What started as a transport business was transformed in 1890 into Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited, owner of the San Antonio sugar mill. In 1912, after the death of Francisco Alfredo Pellas, the San Antonio sugar mill produced more than 100,000 quintals of sugar per year.
The sons of the founder of the Pellas Group, Carlos Pellas Vivas and his brother Silvio, assumed the stewardship of the family business.
Casa Pellas, the first distributor of GM vehicles in Central America, was founded in 1913. With the molasses produced in the San Antonio sugar mill, the production of rums began, which were introduced in the Nicaraguan market in 1937 by Compañía Licorera de Nicaragua, the producer of the prestigious Flor de Caña, the world’s most award-winning rum, which has become an ambassador of Nicaraguan identity.
In 1952, after the death of Carlos Pellas Vivas, his brother Silvio expanded the activities of the Pellas Group by entering into the financial world with the founding of Banco de America, which over time became Nicaragua’s largest private bank.
A year later, after the death of Silvio Pellas Vivas, the leadership of the Nicaraguan business group passed to Alfredo Pellas Chamorro, son of the deceased Carlos Pellas Vivas. Under his leadership, the San Antonio sugar mill produced its first million quintals of sugar in 1959.
Alfredo Pellas Chamorro led the Group through a first phase of modernization and developed the financial business through Banco de America, one of the first Latin American banks to use plastic means of payment when Credomatic acquired the MasterCard and Visa franchise in 1975. In 1982, Banco Popular was acquired (now BAC Florida Bank).
As of 1985, and over the last 25 years, Carlos Pellas Chamorro has been at the helm of this corporate conglomerate, consolidating it, diversifying the areas of business, and expanding it into one of the most dynamic business groups in Central America.
Carlos Pellas Chamorro transformed the San Antonio sugar mill into an agro-energy complex that produces sugar, ethanol and energy, and has made Nicaragua Sugar one of the main exporters of ethanol in Central America. Pellas eliminated bunker consumption by generating clean energy from bagasse cane, which supplies 7% of Nicaragua’s energy demand during the harvest season. On the other hand, his brother Silvio Pellas Chamorro, at the front of Casa Pellas, has injected great dynamism with the distribution of brands like Toyota, Suzuki, Hino, and Yamaha motorcycles, among other products of world prestige.