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Belize government wins case against US telecoms investor

23 Mar 2009

Caribbean Net News reports that the UK’s Privy Council has ruled in favour of the Belize government and the national telecoms operator Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) against US investor Jeffrey Prosser, who previously owned a stake in the telco’s former incarnation, Belize Telecommunications Limited (Belize Telecom). Prosser and his company Innovative Communication Co claimed a special share and seats on the board of the national PTO. The special share was offered to Prosser as part of an aborted takeover of Belize Telecom from fellow shareholder Michael Ashcroft (Deputy Chairman of the British Conservative Party), but the US businessman’s controlling rights were subsequently cancelled by Belize’s Minister of Public Utilities. Prosser sued, but the Supreme Court threw out the case on the grounds that he had lost his shares, although the Court of Appeal subsequently overturned the decision, saying that Prosser’s appointed directors should remain on the board. However, BTL’s counter-appeal was held up by the most recent decision from the Privy Council. The matter is not yet ended, though, as Prosser has another court case pending, which challenges the ‘vesting act’ which created BTL in its current form.

Belize, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL, Digi)

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