RAB opens consultation on proposed Digicel-BTS merger amid competition concerns

26 Jan 2015

The Regulatory Authority of Bermuda (RAB) is seeking public comment on Digicel Group’s planned takeover of Bermuda Telephone Company (BTC), launching a consultation on a deal that under local telecoms law it confirms falls ‘within the meaning of a concentration’, and as such requires RAB approval if it is to close. ‘The Authority invites interested third parties to submit their possible observations on the proposed transaction to the Authority,’ the watchdog confirmed in a statement.

Last week CommsUpdate reported that Digicel Group had struck a deal to acquire BTC – just six months after it was taken over by Canadian group Barrie OpCo. In July 2014 Barrie OpCo, a recently incorporated Bermuda company owned by an independent investor group with experience in telecommunications, purchased 100% of BTC from local telecoms firm KeyTech for BMD30 million (USD30 million). No details on the terms of the Digicel deal or indeed its value have been disclosed, with a spokeswoman for the Jamaican group noting that the plan is subject to approval by RAB. A spokesperson for the regulator confirmed the acquisition plan, noting: ‘The Authority is actively seeking relevant details of the transaction from both parties to enable the formal review process under the Regulatory Authority Act 2011 to take place.’

Comments must reach RAB no later than 4pm on 6 February 2015.