Curacao-based CDMA operator MIO has been declared bankrupt, press reports originating from the Netherlands Antilles have suggested. The cellco is still thought to be owned by EOCG, a US-based investment company that focuses on the communications and real estate sectors, which first acquired a concession in Curacao in mid-2005. That year, it purchased a licence from a previous licensee, GSM Caribbean, to provide services in Curacao, going on to acquire additional licences in nearby Sint Maarten and Bonaire. Unverified local press sources suggest that at the time of its closure the company harboured debts of ANG28 million (USD15.4 million), and was living on ‘borrowed time’ after an initial creditor’s meeting in January 2011 allowed the company a period of grace to sort out its stricken finances. A last-ditch attempted at securing MIO’s future saw a number of banks offered a 20% stake in the company in lieu of payment, although this option was rejected.
Authorities have pointed out that the bankruptcy has no effect on its namesake MIO Aruba, which is no longer affiliated to MIO Curacao. In June 2010 US-based Atlantic Tele Network Inc (ATNI) entered into a joint venture to purchase a controlling interest in MIO Aruba, which was then in the midst of its own bankruptcy proceedings. The joint venture was conducted through a newly-created company named Caribbean Telecom Partners (CTP), in which ATNI invested USD3.1 million in exchange for a 51% controlling interest in MIO.