Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Bahamas - Govt has announced completion of the privatisation of BTC

[bahama islands info] The Government of The Bahamas is pleased to announce that the privatization of BTC completed today, April 6, 2011, with the sale of 51% of the shares to Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC).

CWC is a global full-service communications business which operates communications businesses in thirty-eight countries through four regional units – the Caribbean, Panama, Macau and Monaco & Islands- and has close to $2.5 billion revenues. Its services are highly complementary to those of BTC and include mobile, broadband and domestic and international fixed line services, as well as pay-TV, data centre and hosting, carrier and managed service solutions.

The Government has received the purchase price of $210 million from CWC paid in full, as well as in kind and cash completion dividends from BTC amounting to $14.3 million.

CWC has taken management control effective today.

A new board has been established made up of the following individuals:

Maria Ferere, a partner of FT Consultants Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas,
Deidre Prescott, a current BTC Director and employee of BTC,
Mark Holowesko, a principal of Holowesko Capital Partners, Nassau, Bahamas,
Nick Cooper, Corporate Services Director, Cable & Wireless Communications Plc,
David Shaw, CEO, LIME,
Gerard Borely, CFO, LIME,
Geoff Houston, who has been appointed CEO of BTC.

Three new acts facilitating the privatisation have been passed by Parliament namely

the Privatisation of The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited Act;
the Communications (Amendment) Act; and
the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (Amendment) Act
The revised Sector Policy has also been published.

One of the critical effects of the revised Sector Policy is that, as of today, the clock has finally started ticking for the liberalization of cellular services. The process for liberalization will commence three years from today.

This privatization, a process started 14 years ago, is essential for the advancement of the Bahamian economy. It is no longer about telecommunications; rather we are now in a world of converged communications. Technology advancement is moving at a lightning fast pace, requiring huge investments, economies of scale and deep technical expertise. The Bahamian people deserve and indeed, rightly demand, more minutes for less money, more products with better quality, excellent service and more business and profit opportunities for themselves. The Government is committed to making this country an international business centre of choice, committed to giving Bahamians access to the latest and best technologies available in communications and committed to opening this economy for the further participation of progressive, innovative Bahamian entrepreneurs. The privatization of BTC with the sale to CWC, our new strategic communications partner, provides this platform, and the benefits will be realized by all Bahamians.

The vision for BTC of the Government and CWC, is that BTC will continue to be recognized as a Bahamian company, operating for the benefit of the people and the economy of The Bahamas; that it will be viewed as a great customer centric and sales & marketing organization, which offers excellent value for money, that delivers the services that customers want, and that it will be a company that Bahamians choose to buy from and work for.

Privatization of The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited completed

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