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Regulators seek comment on Digicel-BTC deal

BTC: Agreed to be bought by Digicel

By Jonathan Kent

Regulators are seeking comment on Digicel’s planned takeover of The Bermuda Telephone Company (BTC).

This evening, the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda (RAB), which oversees the telecommunications sector, said the proposed merger “fell within the meaning of a concentration” under the law and would therefore require RAB’s approval to close.

Digicel and BTC announced last week that they had struck a deal, without revealing terms.

“The Authority invites interested third parties to submit their possible observations on the proposed transaction to the Authority,” RAB stated. “All information of a confidential nature should be clearly identified as such.”

At the time the two companies announced their merger plans, Digicel said BTC’s fixed voice and internet services would complement its mobile offerings “allowing Digicel to bring better services and value to consumers”.

The announcement of the takeover came just five months after Barrie Holdings had bought BTC from KeyTech Ltd in a $30 million deal.

BTC executive chairman Roy Graydon said that “when Digicel approached us with an offer to combine the businesses, we realised that the two companies would complement each other and, working together, could substantially accelerate the pace of that build and it was clear that this would be the best and fastest way to enable us to provide the services of the future to consumers in Bermuda.”

Deregulation of the telecommunications sector in Bermuda has led to several merger deals as major players position themselves to offer a “bundle” of services to clients.

Comments must reach RAB no later than 4pm on February 6, 2015, in order to be considered. Comments can be sent via e-mail to kmasters@rab.bm, by post or by hand to: Kyle Masters c/o The Regulatory Authority, Cumberland House, 3 Victoria Street, Hamilton, Bermuda.

See the full RAB statement under “Related Media” on this web page.