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Apr 25, 2005

Proceeds from share sale will pay off debts

In another facet of the B.T.L. controversy, a release from the Ministry of Finance has explained the disposition of funds from G.O.B.’s sale of fifteen percent ownership in the company to Michael Ashcroft. According to the release, Ashcroft’s Ecom Limited paid the full fourteen point five million U.S. dollars for the shares on March twenty-second, with that money going into a C.D. in government’s name at the Ashcroft controlled Belize Bank. After twenty-five days in the bank those funds were then transferred abroad to pay interest and principal on seventy-eight point nine million U.S. dollars in notes arranged by Capital Markets Financial Services in November of 2004. Under that agreement, proceeds from any sale of B.T.L. shares by G.O.B. would have to go to pay holders of those notes. According to the release, the fourteen point five million was combined with an additional thirty million from the recent Bear Stearns bond issue to reduce the Capital Markets principal balance to thirty-five point six million dollars. That balance will be fully paid off when government sells its remaining thirty-seven percent ownership in B.T.L.–presumably to B.T.L. employees and the Belizean public.

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