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Home » Economy, Featured » Waight Says G.O.B. May Pay $200M More for B.T.L.
Oct 9, 2015

Waight Says G.O.B. May Pay $200M More for B.T.L.

Joseph Waight

Waight also spoke on the matter of the settlement for B.T.L….particularly the arbitration ruling. The PM has said that it was his hope that the sixty million dollars paid based on the Nera evaluation remains as such. The Financial Secretary says that the arbitration decision is due within the next three months, and it is likely that taxpayers will have to pay at least a couple hundred million dollars more for the utility.

 

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“The problem is this that even if there was no settlement, we don’t know what the court…the arbitration panel will still come with a ruling, come with a judgement, come with an award. We don’t know—whether we have a settlement or not. The settlement basically, to my understand, was to address the matter of the challenge to the constitutionality, which was going through the CCJ. That is now being withdrawn, that is being settled. In turn, the government has agreed that we will honour and abide and accept the arbitration award. But it is really not ours to agree with. I mean it is coming whether or not there is a settlement.”

 

Mike Rudon

“But government has fought arbitration rulings in the past; in fact, I think that there’s still an arbitration ruling that they are fighting as we speak. So why was this one agreed to even before it comes because government could have stretched this out?”

 

Joseph Waight

“Well the previous arbitration rulings were in respect of things emanating from the accommodation agreement, which the government said was illegal and therefore were fighting that. This is really compensation for a nationalization of an asset, the shares. The government has never refused to pay; it was just a question of how much.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Now you are somebody who crunches figures for a living. There have been different figures thrown about in terms of share value. How much, if you look at the upper end, how much are we looking to pay in the end base on the arbitration ruling?”

 

Joseph Waight

“Well one side is asking for ten dollars and twenty-three cents a share; we had offered one-forty-four so there is a chasm in between. We are hoping that the arbitration panel will come closer to our figure. We had a lot of expert assessments done; some high tech firms from the UK that has done work for us. We are hoping that the panel will see it our way, but we just don’t know.”

 

Mike Rudon

“And if the panel decides to go middle ground—five to six dollars—how much are we looking at in what will be owed?”

 

Joseph Waight

“About two hundred million dollars more.”

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