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Dec 3, 2009

Dean Boyce says Telemedia loan is legal and legit

Story PictureOn Wednesday, Telemedia Chairman, Nestor Vasquez, made a number of allegations in respect of the management of the company before it was nationalized by the Government in August. Top among the statements was the issue of a forty-five million dollar loan from British Caribbean Bank to Telemedia for a period of two years. This loan, according to Vasquez, is now illegal even though payments had been made to the bank for the two years prior to the expropriation in August. But there are two sides to the story and News Five sat down today with Dean Boyce who, at the time of the nationalization, headed the Executive Committee of Telemedia. Boyce responded to a wide range of issues, but tonight we bring the issue of the four year loan which was obtained in 2007. Boyce provided copies of documents, including one from the Central Bank, which was also conducting audits of the Bank.

Dean Boyce, Former Chairman of the Executive Committee
“The loan was used in two parts actually. Firstly to buy shares; B.T.L.’s own shares. But it wasn’t purchased by B.T.L., it was purchased by subsidiaries; companies of B.T.L., which is legally allowed. The other half of the twenty-two million U.S. was used for various capital expenditure programs, building transmission links, expanding transmission capabilities and so on. The total loan amounted, as you say, to twenty-two million. There was a letter from the Central Bank to B.T.L. confirming and acknowledging that loan agreement. Because we were working with the government at that time to resolve the ongoing Prosser problem and they were fully in support of the purchase of those shares, the copy of which I will provide to you. The copy of the exchange control document from the Central Bank was actually faxed to us from the Prime Minister’s office. So apart from the Central Bank knowing about this, they would have also been conducting their own audits of the bank. B.T.L. itself had two year end audits where that very same loan document would have been reviewed and cleared. So this wasn’t something either secret or illegal, it was a valid binding document for legitimate purposes. If you go back to say March 2003 and look at the accounts we had about close to forty million dollars of debts accumulated for various reasons, for various capital expenditure projects. The total amount to forty million and by March of 2007, all of those debts had been fully paid off. So it was a similar amount that was paid off in a four year period. He referred to two years, up to March 2009 and he referred to profits. If you look at the cash generated over that two year period, the company generated cash of over one hundred million from its operations. So again that demonstrates that it was perfectly capable of servicing that sort of debt.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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