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Mar 9, 2018

The Final Price for B.T.L.

The Government of Belize’s acquisition of Belize Telemedia Limited was also a feature of the Budget speech. A figure of more than half a billion dollars was widely quoted, but the final figure of four hundred and forty-eight million dollars is all fully paid to Dunkeld and B.T.L. Employees Trust. It was broken down into two hundred and twenty-eight million U.S. and a further ten million in Belize dollars. For the first time, it was revealed how the debt was paid off, as well as why the Prime Minister maintained that it was a price well worth paying.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Those in Opposition have suggested that B.T.L. has come at too steep a price. But this is a company that is totemic of nationalism and sovereignty. Furthermore it is already worth a billion dollars, and will earn billions more for Belizeans (Applause) as it capitalizes on its dominance and takes advantage of financing opportunities to continue the rollout of its national broadband plan of fiber to homes and blinding internet speeds. Only the Pharisees who in the first place gave it away for next to nothing, could claim now that its repatriation and the Belizeanization of its handsome profits is at a cost too dear. Mr. Speaker, of direct relevance to the budget is how these payments are financed and how they are reported. The payments were financed by a combination of domestic borrowing through the issuance of Treasury Bills and Notes amounting to approximately three hundred and fifty-four million dollars and from the proceeds of the one hundred and fifteen million dollar sale, to Belizeans, of some of the acquired B.T.L. shares.”

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