After purchasing 12 companies in the last nine years, Grupo Nacional de Chocolates SA is at it again. According to an article by James Attwood on, the company is pursuing acquisitions in Peru and the Caribbean this year.

Citing the company’s ceo Carlos Enrique Piedrahita, Attwood writes that Grupo Nacional de Chocolates has the ability to make one or two purchases up to $100 million. The company keeps in contact from time to time with various companies in different countries and categories that may be considerable for acquisition.

Despite the company’s slowing sales growth, it is looking to expand further into Andean, Central American and Caribbean markets, the article states. As part of a $275-million three-year capital expenditure program, Grupo Nacional plans to spend $75 million in 2009.

The company expects sales growth to slow to 12% to 13% this year, from 16% last year. Even though Colombia’s peso has fallen 3.3% against the U.S. dollar this year, Piedrahita believes countries like Peru and Colombia will most likely avoid recession in 2009.