Published On: Wed, Mar 27th, 2019

Information about the sale of UTS to Liberty Latin America

Zita Jesus Leito

WILLEMSTAD — A press release from the Ministry of Traffic, Transportation and Spatial Planning (VVRP) in Curacao on March 26, 2019, contained a letter from the Minister of VVRP, Zita Jeus-Leito, to Liberty Latin America (LLA) on the sale of United Telecommunication Services (UTS).

Entire letter reads as follows:

Dear Chairman,

As a shareholder, the Country Curacao has an interest in the continuity of its companies. The financial challenges facing UTS and its subsidiaries are not unknown.

Measures have been taken by the board to reduce costs. Also, the current financial situation of the company is such that capital from outside is needed to guarantee the continuity of the UTS company and to promote the competitiveness of the aforementioned company.

The investments needed to bring the company’s competitiveness up to standard so that it can compete are substantial. The amounts involved are approximately ANG. 200 million. However, as a shareholder, the Country of Curaçao is unable to make the necessary investments in view of the current precarious financial situation, so there is a good chance that the company will lose its right to exist due to fierce competition.

Over the years, various attempts have been made to keep the company competitive. Based on the presented state of affairs of UTS, the parliament, by means of a motion dated 4 December 2014, expressed the wish to the management to seek a strategic partner for UTS.

For the sake of completeness, it is hereby announced that a strategic partner also includes the possibility of selling part of the shares.

In line with this, a process has been started to arrive at a strategic partner. 33 telecommunications companies were approached. The result of this process was that two candidates have shown interest. These two candidates have been evaluated. One of the candidates has been found suitable. Negotiations have been conducted with this candidate in the recent period.

During the negotiations, this candidate indicated that he preferred the purchase of all shares in UTS. In a motion dated December 10, 2018, the parliament put forward the process of selling the shares of the Country Curacao in United Telecommunication Services N.V.

For the sake of completeness, we hereby inform you that the exercise of shareholders’ powers by the Country Curacao may now be carried out without any legal restrictions after the government has taken a decision in this regard.

Some participations are excluded from the sale. The shares of these participating interests will be housed in a government foundation. It concerns the shares of the following companies:

– Data planet N.V. (Dataplanet);

– Antillean Television Company N. V. (ATM);

– Curaflix (Curacaofix);

– Telematics Facilities Management N.V. (TMF);

– ET UTS N.V. (ET);

– Carib Teleconsult N.V. (CT);

– United Telecommunication Services Suriname N.V. (UTS Suriname);

– UTS Sint Kitts and Nevis Limited (UTS Sint Kitts and Nevis)

ATM, TFM, Dataplanet and Curaflix will continue to exist as a company. The shares of ET, CT, UTS Suriname and UTS Sint Kitts and Nevis are transferred to the foundation for liquidation.

The value of all shares (100%) is equal to approximately ANG. 339 million enterprise value. Land Curacao’s share in this is 87.5% enterprise value. From this amount (ANG. 339 million), the provisions for employees are deducted, including the allowance for redundancy, duration allowance.

The amount of the surrender of the duration allowance is ANG. approximately 64.4 million and overdue premium payments, the duration surcharge is approximately ANG. 21 million, a total of around 85 million surrender / guarantee for pension agreements for the benefit of staff. An amount of ANG 21 million in taxes and debts to the Telecommunications and Post Office is also deducted from this amount.

There is also an amount of ANG in a blocked account (an escrow). 56 million included. An amount of approximately ANG. 95 million remains from this transaction. The government intends to invest the proceeds of the sale in the growth of the economy.

Hope to have informed you sufficiently.

Yours sincerely,

Minister of V.V.R.P., Mrs. Z. Jesus-Leito

Source: CuracaoChronicle


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