Trapped under ICE: state-owned parent takes the helm to revive RACSA

23 Sep 2014

Plans to revive loss-making state-owned internet service provider (ISP) Radiografica Costarricense (RACSA) over the next four years are being hammered out by the company’s new management, local news outlets report, after parent company Grupo Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Grupo ICE) brought the company closer under its control earlier this month. El Financiero writes that in early September ICE subsidiaries RACSA, Fullmovil and Cablevision were brought under the direction of ICE’s telecommunications management with a view to aligning and integrating the group’s telecoms operations. The restructuring of the group aims to minimise duplication of work and develop synergies between ICE’s various subsidiaries. RACSA has booked losses for six consecutive years, including CRC6.3 billion (USD11.91 million) in 2013 and CRC3.495 billion the year before that.

In a bid to shake up the ISP, ICE has appointed a new board to RACSA and may yet choose to fold the company into its Kolbi subsidiary, although the preference is to revive RACSA rather than dismantle it, ICE’s president Carlos Obregon Quesada said. Meanwhile, RACSA’s new general manager Francisco Calvo Bonilla has presented proposals to overhaul the company over the next four years, including optimising its finances by cutting unnecessary costs. The official stressed that RACSA and ICE should endeavour not to compete with each other and instead pursue separate markets: ‘If we are to succeed we must work together, sharing experiences and helping each to consolidate as a solid company, so we can beat the real competition.’