Acquisition-hungry Digicel, CWC circling UTS

12 Feb 2015

Regional telecoms giants Digicel Group and Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) have both expressed an interest in securing a strategic partnership with Curacao-based telecoms provider United Telecommunications (UTS), the Curacao Chronicle reports. Citing a leaked letter from UTS director Paul de Geus, the paper reports that the telco’s management has urged the government shareholders to convene for a meeting at their earliest convenience to discuss the matter.

The letter was addressed to Earl Balborda, Curacao’s minister of traffic, transport and urban planning, and Dennis Richardson, the minister of justice for Sint Maarten. With reference to the ongoing acquisition of Columbus Communications (Flow) by CWC, de Geus has urged the companies to move quickly in order to exploit the current opportunities. He wrote: ‘Curacao must act now. If we wait too long, they will find in Curacao other partners who can complement and strengthen their service to this country. The attractiveness of UTS will then decrease.’

Since the October 2010 dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, the government of Curacao has held an 87.5% stake in UTS, while the government of Sint Maarten retained the remaining 12.5%. Willemstad-based UTS counts mobile subsidiaries in Bonaire (Chippie Bonaire), Sint Maarten (UTS Sint Maarten), Saint Martin & Saint Barthelemy (UTS Caraibe), Sint Eustatius (Chippie St Eustatius), Saba (Chippie Saba), Saint Kitts & Nevis (UTS Cariglobe) and Suriname (UNIQA).

Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Chippie Bonaire (UTS), UNIQA (became part of Digicel Suriname), UTS (Saint-Martin), UTS CariGlobe (Saint Kitts & Nevis), UTS/Chippie Curacao, UTS/Flow Sint Maarten