Curacao reluctant to give up UTS Eastern Caribbean

POSTED: 04/10/14 1:02 AM

St. Maarten – The Government of Curacao still has not taken a position on the proposal by minority shareholder St. Maarten to give up 12.5 percent of its shares in telecom provider UTS in exchange for complete control over UTS Eastern Caribbean. Curacao already holds 87.5 percent of the shares in UTS.

According to Curacao’s Minister Earl Balborda (Traffic, Transport and Urban Planning), the proposal requires further study.

St. Maarten sent its proposal for the swap in the beginning of March to Curacao, but in Willemstad there is little enthusiasm for the deal. This is mainly due to the fact that UTS Eastern Caribbean is one of the most profitable parts of the company. St. Maarten, French Saint Martin, Saba, Statia, St. Kitts and Nevis all fall under UTS Eastern Caribbean.

Balborda says according to a report in Amigoe that he is not able to make a statement about the proposal because no study has been done into the deal’s possible impact. Balborda conceded that the shareholders gave the green light for a study into closer cooperation between UTS Eastern Caribbean and the TelEm Group of Companies.

St. Maarten wants to take over UTS Eastern Caribbean and merge it with TelEm into a new holding. Currently there is a Letter of Intent on the table for this merger. According to Balborda, it is based on a decision that was taken in the past. The proposal for the share-swap is from Justice Minister Dennis Richardson, St. Maarten’s shareholder representative for UTS.

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