Thursday 21 November, 2019

Digicel: No offer of buyout received from Gov't of Antigua and Barbuda

Gaston Browne, PM of Antigua and Barbuda is battling Digicel and Flow for Spectrum space for the state-owned APUA

Gaston Browne, PM of Antigua and Barbuda is battling Digicel and Flow for Spectrum space for the state-owned APUA

Digicel says it has not received any offers for a buyout by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.

A release from the regional giant said contrary to multiple media reports and statements made by the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda over the last two weekends, Digicel has not received any approaches of any kind at any time from the Prime Minister or anyone in the Government of Antigua and Barbuda with regard to a buyout of Digicel’s operations in the twin island state.

“For the avoidance of doubt, any assertions to the contrary are complete fiction and represent part of an ongoing campaign by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to distract and disseminate false information,” the release said.

The release was issued in response to statements by Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne that he is willing to buy out Digicel. This, as he continues to battle Digicel and Flow for space on the spectrum for the state-owned operator APUA.

Speaking on his radio program Browne and Browne on June 16, Browne said APUA must be given the fair share.

“Ultimately, if they think they going to kill APUA, I will say not under my administration. If anything, they will get killed. It’s not because we are hostile to foreign investors, we welcome foreign investment. But this idea that you can come in an extract and that you going to literally put an entity that is owned by the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda at a disadvantage, that cannot be fair,” he said.

“I recognise that the telecom space is somewhat overcrowded because the market is so small it really probably justifies a monopoly, at best two players, so if one has to leave I want to tell them it won’t be APUA. So between Digicel and Flow they need to make up their minds, I already sent a message to the owner of Digicel to say that APUA is willing to buy them,” he said.

Digicel said the real issue is the unfair, anti-competitive and illegal actions by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in seeking to confiscate its legally allocated spectrum for the benefit of the state-owned operator, APUA.

Digicel said with the matter before the Courts, it will fight vigorously to defend its customers and its business in the interest of fair and healthy competition in Antigua and Barbuda.

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