Sale of govt stake in ALIV delayed by minister queries

24 May 2018

The Bahamian government’s plan to offload its 51.75% stake in local cellco ALIV has been delayed by the Cabinet’s desire for ‘clarity and comfort’, sale adviser Gowon Bowe has informed local news site Tribune 242. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the stake sale was originally expected to take place last month, generating up to BSD70 million (USD70 million).

Mr Bowe noted that Cabinet ministers had submitted ‘detailed questions that needed answering’ regarding the private placement model that was originally selected as the Government’s exit route, prompting discussions over whether it is the only viable option. The prospect of an initial public offering (IPO) was rejected on the basis that ALIV – as a start-up operation that will incur initial heavy losses while it completes its rollout – was not deemed appropriate for individual investors. Instead, the government will target institutional investors, such as Bahamian pension funds, mutual funds and credit unions. Bowe said the advisers were now awaiting ‘clear instructions to proceed’ from the government.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, ALIV launched in November 2016, breaking up the long-held Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) mobile monopoly.

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