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Aug 31, 2009

Former Executive says Telemedia worth $300 Million U.S.

Story PictureAnd still on the issue of the hostile take over of the telephone company, in his announcement to the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Barrow said that he intended to re-Belizeanize it. But in follow-up interviews, Barrow contradicted himself and said he would make it available for sale to international carriers. Now that the theatrics in the House are over, just how much will government be able to get for the company? According to Telemedia’s former Executive Committee Chairman, Dean Boyce, the value of the company went up to around three hundred million US over the past two years because of investments. This is not easy money to come by, in particular by local investors, and we all know that government is cash strapped. So what will the shareholders and the Hayward Charitable Trust be prepared to accept? We asked Boyce about this last Friday when we sat down with him for a detailed interview.

Dean Boyce, Former Chairman, Executive Committee, B.T.L.
“If the company had just been nationalized, anybody wanting to buy it is going to be saying, well where do I stand? I don’t see how you can now get the sort of price that you could then and this isn’t a result of anything that Telemedia shareholders have done. It’s a result of what the Government has done and the Telemedia shareholders will rightly say, we want you to give us the value of the company as it should be before you have taken action. Because for what we know, the government might have done this deliberately, destabilize the market, so that it will then be sold off at a very low price just to give us a smaller amount of money, which isn’t acceptable practice. It’s also not sensible. You’ve got to bear in mind the country would have got three hundred million U.S. dollars. That was going to be given to all of the shareholders. It’s already been very clearly stated who those shareholders were and what those investments would be. So you would have had three hundred million. Let’s suppose the government now sells it for a hundred million—just for argument’s sake—and they say that’s the market value cause that’s what we’ve got for it. We will go to court, the Trust will go to court because they’re going to say look, it’s your fault we’ve lost two hundred million. Let’s suppose the court says you’re right, you owe two hundred million. The government’s going to have to pay us two hundred million out of their pockets; the one hundred million—whoever’s bought it is going to be rubbing their hands saying thank you very much, I’ve got a nice cheap business here. So I can’t understand the logic of how we got to where we are.”

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