Liberty’s talks with the Government of Curacao to purchase an 85% stake in the telecom firm is almost complete, reports Saint Maarten-based newspaper The Daily Herald, citing Curacao’s Telecom Minister Zita Jesus-Leito.
UTS operates in several Caribbean islands including St. Maarten, St. Martin, Bonaire, Saba, Statia and St. Barths, in addition to Curacao, where it provides broadband services for free to the country’s schools and universities.
However, the minister did not clarify how much money Liberty is paying for the stake. UTS will continue to operate under its brand for at least the next two years, according to Curacao newspapers.
UTS has several small subsidiaries in the region and they operate under different brands, including Antilliaanse Televisie Maatschappij (TeleCuraçao) and Data Planet.
The government of Saint Maarten owns the remaining 12.5% in UTS, but there are no reports whether it too will sell off its stake.
Curaçao contributes 78% of the operator’s revenue, with St. Maarten accounting for 20%.
Liberty, a split-off from Liberty Global, is already one of the largest telecom operators in the Caribbean. Liberty Global had purchased Cable & Wireless, which came with Columbus International and Flow, before the spin off.
The acquisition will strengthen the operations of Flow, which is already providing a few telecom services in the countries where UTS operates.