Antigua prepared to acquire Digicel shares


Antigua and Barbuda has indicated that it is prepared to acquire the shares of the financially strapped Irish-owned telecommunications company, Digicel, if it is unable to provide a service there in the future.

Earlier this week, Digicel Group One Ltd, the Bermuda-based holding company, announced that it had gone into provisional liquidation there and had also filed for Chapter 15 recognition at US bankruptcy court in Manhattan.

But a spokesperson for Digicel, which operates in more than 30 markets in the Caribbean and South Pacific, said the moves would not impact the regular operations of the company and were aimed at strengthening the balance sheet.

“It’s important to point out that this will have no impact on our day-to-day operations, our staff, our suppliers, our customers or any aspect of our ongoing activities — it is business as usual,” the spokesperson said.

But the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel “Max’ Hurst, said he was confident that St John’s would be interested in acquiring the local shares of Digicial if “at some point” it indicates ‘it could continue to function normally in Antigua and Barbuda.

“I can assure you, I know the Honourable Gaston Browne (Prime Minister) well he will be the first to step forward to purchase their assets so that APUA (Antigua Public Utilities Authority) can be a more successful provider of telecommunication services.

“I can imagine what will happen thereafter, let’s wait and see and that is my guess,” Hurst added.

Digicel, is going through a major restructuring of some of the approximately US$7.4 billion of debt it carries so that it can continue operating as a going concern.

Mike Morisson, Charles Thresh and James Bennett, of KPMG, were appointed joint provisional liquidators of Digicel Group One by the Bermuda Supreme Court on April 29.

The petition for Chapter 15 recognition was lodged in US bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York by the provisional liquidators.

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  1. The government needs to focus on government activities and stop meddling in private affairs. The government doesn’t have enough money to conduct its normal course of business how will they fund this private activity? Then people in the future will not pay for service as it belongs to the government which will cause the service quaility to drop like anything the government touches.

    Well I guess it will be worth it for a while. Free data for a few months may not be so bad.

  2. You gotta be kidding!

    A government that is struggling to pay wages wants to buy shares in a failing business, one which it’s billionaire owner doesn’t want to put more money into.
    Let them go bankrupt, buy the discounted assets from the liquidator

  3. With what ? The government went broke in one month. Where did all the CIP money go…
    Best learn Chinese.

  4. @ BILBO
    THANK God that Antigua and Barbuda have a forward thinking Prime Minister. You must move the Country forward under any condition. Hon.Gaston Browne is a visionary.He knows business.A Government must think of business and not just SOCIAL ISSUES.

    • TRUE NOT ANTIGUAN: Forward thinking Prime Minister.Yes,that he is.Because he only “thinks” of himself and family.While persons like you are putting him on a pedestal.He is rich and getting richer.And you and many others are poor and getting poorer since 2014 to today 05/21/20.

    • @ not Antiguan
      You may think Gaston is a visionary and knows business but I cannot disagree with you more. What Antigua needs is a prime minister who puts Antigua and the people first and doing something to clean the rubbish heap that is part of Antigua. Investments, investments my other side. What we need is a leader.

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