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Feb 5, 2015

What if BTL Returns to Private Ownership?

With the decision by the C.C.J. imminent, there are already questions about the real, on the ground situation with Belize Telemedia Limited. One scenario based on a ruling that the acquisition was illegal could be that the company would revert to the previous shareholders. Courtenay says that’s no reason to panic or expect any negative repercussions. In fact, he says that the previous shareholders would act immediately to trim down the fat from a company that has become bloated by political interference.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Claimants

Eamon Courtenay

“Going back to private ownership does not necessarily mean that consumers will suffer because you have a regulatory environment. The problem you have today is the incestuous relationship between the PUC and Telemedia. A lot of the gains that the public say that they are enjoying are not things that are going to be undone. What you will have undone are bloated contracts which you know exist in Telemedia. What we have is high salaries for certain executives in Telemedia that are unqualified and are eating at the trough at Telemedia. What you will have are the many people that are being hired at the company but are unqualified and just being given jobs to get on the payroll for political purposes. That is the type of inefficiency that the former owners would go in and say cut out the fat…cut out certain contracts of who is buying certain products and supplying it at gross overvalue. That is the type of thing that is going to be addressed. And there’s a price to be paid for that.”

 

The telephone company was first nationalized in 2009 and then renationalized in 2011.

 

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