The Bogota city council has voted in favour of the plan to sell its controlling stake in state owned telecoms operator Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota (ETB), El Espectador has reported. The motion was passed by a majority of eleven votes to four. The proposals are now scheduled to be discussed in a plenary debate in early June. The Bogota comptroller, meanwhile, has cautioned that in its opinion, the prospective sale fails to meet technical, social and economic criteria, arguing that the plan warrants further scrutiny.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in January 2016 Enrique Penalosa, the newly appointed mayor of Bogota, raised the possibility of selling ETB, with a view to reallocating the financial resources to other public areas, notably education programmes. At that time, the rumoured sale prompted interest from Millicom International Cellular (MIC), with company CEO Mauricio Ramos confirming that MIC’s local unit Tigo-Une would be interested in participating in any future Colombian M&A activity.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, ETB is currently 88.4%-owned by the Capital District of Bogota, with the remaining 11.6% of the company in the hands of private shareholders.