Published On: Thu, Apr 11th, 2019

MP Rolando Brison submits draft initiative law on UTS

MP Rolando Brison on presentation MOT in Parliament 20 Feb 2019

PHILIPSBURG — On April 11 MP Rolando Brison informed StMaartenNews.com that he has submitted a draft initiative law about the sale of the United Telecommunications Services (UTS) N.V. shares that are owned by the St. Maarten government.

St. Maarten owns a 12,5% stake in UTS. Just recently agreement was reached between the telecommunications company, its majority shareholder (which is the government of Curacao with a 87,5% stake) and the buyer, Liberty Latin America (LLA), Inc.

MP Brison completed this initiative draft law within a two weeks period. The member of Parliament took this initiative as the Minister Justice in his capacity as shareholder representative for UTS has yet to submit legislation to finalize the sale of St. Maarten’s share to Liberty Latin America, while the minister has known about the negotiations and pending sale for at least a year.

MP Brison, who is also intending to submit draft initiatives laws about Mullet Bay, an Environmental Levy and AirBnB, among others, has been pro-active with this measure as Parliament needs to enact legislation to authorize the sale of the 12,5% stake the government of St. Maarten has in UTS.

The fear is that if the process takes too long, the new owner of UTS can possibly dilute the shareholding of St. Maarten in UTS by issuing new shares. Already, criticism is coming out of Curacao that St. Maarten is unfairly benefiting from the proceeds of the sale of UTS while never having any responsibilities for any of the risks associated with the UTS subsidiaries due to its minority holding in the parent company. The referenced UTS subsidiaries have been placed in a separate foundation on Curacao in order to make the sale of UTS possible. St. Maarten is entitled to an estimated 12 million guilders for its 12,5% share in the sale of UTS.

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Related articles:
Copy of draft initiative law documents to facilitate sale of UTS Shares – Documents available for download
Press release “Cable & Wireless (C&W) expanding in Dutch Caribbean through takeover UTS
Letter from Curacao’s Minister of VVRP regarding information about the sale of UTS to LLA