British broadsheet The Guardian reports that Vodafone may participate in the privatisation of Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), the Caribbean island’s incumbent fixed and mobile telecoms operator. According to the newspaper Vodafone is mulling involvement in a consortium run by JP Morgan’s private equity arm which has tabled an offer for a controlling 51% stake in BTC. It is understood that Vodafone would provide the technical know-how for the venture, rather than cash, but in return receive a stake in the business.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, in January 2009 the government confirmed its commitment to sell a 51% stake in BTC and in July invited interested parties to register for the privatisation process through the submission of a registration form and the payment of a processing fee of USD25,000. All completed applications for pre-qualification had to be submitted on or before 14 August 2009 and in October the committee in charge of overseeing the privatisation said the process was ‘advancing’ and that there has been ‘significant interest’. ‘Upon review of the pre-qualification packages submitted in August, the government has narrowed down the list of interested parties and has invited a select group of potential buyers to participate in the due diligence phase of the privatisation process,’ a statement from the body read.