VI government mulls telco purchase

29 Nov 2006

The governor of the US Virgin Islands has asked the government to consider whether the territory should buy part of a communications company that filed for bankruptcy after defaulting on more than USD500 million in loans. Governor Charles Turnbull requested authorisation from the legislature to hire a consultant to evaluate the purchase of Innovative Communications Corp, from businessman Jeffery Prosser. Innovative Communications offers wireless and cable television services and is the only landline operator in the Caribbean island territory. It also owns a newspaper, The Virgin Islands Daily News, and television stations in the Virgin Islands and Saint Maarten, but those properties would not be included in the sale, said company spokesman Holland Redfield.

Prosser bought the former Virgin Islands Telephone Corp, for USD86.5 million in 1986 and later renamed it Innovative Communications. The company filed for bankruptcy in July after defaulting on USD524.9 million in loans from the non-profit Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative in the US.

Virgin Islands (U.S.)