Court to rule on ETB's appeal within a fortnight

8 Oct 2009

Dow Jones reports that the Colombian court considering the case between Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota (ETB) and a workers union will rule within two weeks. ‘Our appeal was in the judge’s office on Monday and we expect an answer within the next two weeks,’ Andres Perez, ETB’s general secretary said. On 22 September a court ordered ETB, which is controlled by the Bogota city council, to halt its attempt to seek a controlling partner on the request of the trade union, which fears a high number of redundancies if a private operator takes the company over. Perez said he is confident the ruling will be favourable to the company.

ETB plans to sell new shares, equivalent to a 36.6% stake, to a new partner to be selected in a public auction. The city council then plans to convert its current shares into non-voting shares. The new partner must commit to holding a tender offer to buy out minority shareholders at the same price as offered in December. If all minority shareholders accept the offer, the partner will end up with a stake close to 49%, but with a majority of voting shares. The Bogota city council currently holds 86.59% of ETB, while minority shareholders have the remaining, according to the company’s website.

Colombia, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota (ETB)