The Barrow government’s quest to close the deal with a strategic partner for a 45% take in the country’s multimillion dollar telecommunication company, Belize Telemedia Limited, will have to wait at least another two months, BTL’s Chairman said this week.
Despite a solid purchase offer made by Argentinian investors, the Government of Belize will not see the sale of BTL through until June or July.
Vasquez said that a group of four to five investors have expressed an interest in becoming the “strategic investor” via a letter of intent. The interest was expressed a few months ago, and the negotiation with the government continues steadily as it conducts its due diligence.
The investors visited Belize for the second time last week, in order to thrash out the details of the agreement with the government, but the government is also determined to do its own due diligence to ensure that the investors meet all the requirements and qualifications to make the telecom company continue on its success path.
When the government acquired BTL in August of 2009, it acquired 94% shares in the company and left 6% of the shares that were bought by Belizeans untouched. It then reserved 45% of the shares to be bought by a strategic investor. The rest, a total of 49%, were offered to the Belizean public.
Since then the Social Security Board has purchased 20% of those shares, and a few thousand more have been bought by Belizeans - one of them of recent is BTL’s CEO, Karen Bevans.
Bevans denied rumors that she and another senior manager had teamed up and purchased some 20% shares in the company. She told The Reporter that she only purchased a small amount of shares.
That leaves 29% of shares to be sold to anyone with an interest.
Shares are being sold at $5.00 per share. The Reporter