GOB now owns BWS!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 40            October 6, 2005

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The San Pedro Sun Volume 15 Number 33, reported Government of Belize’s (GOB) intent to buy back Belize Water Services (BWS) from Cascal. At that time, August 12th, GOB signed a Share Purchase Agreement which was completed on October 3rd, 2005.

   On Monday, GOB and Cascal completed the transaction and the completion documents were signed by Prime Minister Said Musa and the Minister of Public Utilities for GOB (Ralph Fonseca) and by Stephane Richer, Chief Executive Officer for Cascal.

   Cascal held close to 33 million ordinary shares in BWS which represented 82.68% of the issued share capital of BWS. Cascal sold all its shares to GOB at the same rate that they bought it in 2001 of US$24.8 million.

   A press release issued by GOB on October 3rd stated, “Government has paid Cascal the down payment of US$14.9 million, while the balance of US$9.9 million will be paid over the next four years with interest at 10% per annum. As security for the payment of the balance, the Government has pledged to Cascal some 13 million shares, representing the shares not paid for by Government. Financing for the down payment was secured from the Republic of China (Taiwan) through the accelerated disbursement of an existing loan facility.”

   This entire transaction, which was approved by the House of Representatives at its Sitting held on September 30th, 2005 and by the Senate at its sitting held that morning was, according to GOB, done in the best interest of the Belizean public. It is GOB’s intention to offer the majority of these shares to the public and the workers of BWS.

   Effective October 3rd, GOB has taken over the management and control of Belize Water Services and an interim management team has been put in place.

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