C&W ‘close’ to BTC deal

6 Sep 2010

Local Bahamian newspapers are reporting that the government is ‘close’ to signing an ‘agreement in principle’ to sell a majority stake in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) to Cable & Wireless. Sources close to developments told The Tribune that the two parties were close to signing a ‘Heads of Terms’, which would set out the broad parameters of an agreement for BTC’s privatisation. They denied previous reports that an initial sales agreement had already been ‘inked’, saying such a move would be premature given the enhanced due diligence and negotiations taking place.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the privatisation of BTC has been under discussion since 1998. In January 2009 the government reaffirmed its commitment to sell a 51% stake 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 by 28 July 2009. 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 narrowed down the list of interested parties and invited a select group of potential buyers to participate in the due diligence phase of the privatisation process. Earlier this year the committee rejected bids from a consortium comprising JP Morgan and Vodafone, as well as one from Atlantic Tele-Network/CFAL.

Bahamas, Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), Cable & Wireless Worldwide,

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