BTC SALE WAS THE STEAL OF THE CENTURY

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( Originally from Bahamas Press)

NASSAU| In the four years since the termination of Leon Williams as CEO in 2017, BTC has gone through 3 CEOs: Dexter Cartwright, Gary Sinclair and now Andre Foster. Nothing seems to have gone right for BTC in the last 4 years. 

Annualized Revenues have dropped $167 Million, from $348 Million to $181 Million. CBL Annualized Revenues are $200 Million for the same period. 

BTC has 181 K mobile customers now while ALIV has 186 K mobile customers. 

BTC’s Fixed Line business is materially stagnant. 

BTC’s EBITDA (is essentially net income (or earnings) with interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization added back. EBITDA can be used to analyze and compare profitability among companies and industries, as it eliminates the effects of financing and capital expenditures) in 2015 was $122 Million.

At the time Liberty Global paid 10.7 times EBITDA or $7.4 Billion for the acquisition of Cable & Wireless/BTC. BTC’s value in  the $7.4 Billion sale would be $122 Million X 10.7 or $1.31 Billion. 

Let us remind you now of the “Steal of the Century”: in 2011 C&W acquired BTC for $148 Million. 

Employees say that BTC’s Executive Leadership have no plans for Top Line Growth, no Vision and no Strategy to mitigate the loss of Market Value or loss of Market Share to CBL & ALIV.

Their only plan is to send staff home. 914 (Repairs), 916 (Information) and many Services have been outsourced to the Caribbean.  Bahamian employees in these areas have been sent home!

And we have heard nothing from the Majority Share Holder, the Minnis Administration. Absolutely nothing!

BTC announced its Enhanced VSEP (Voluntary Separation of Employment Packages) earlier this year which was met with fierce objections by both Unions (BCPMU and BCPOU). 

After advertising for a Director of People (HR),  three (3) Candidates responded. The position, however, was given to the most unqualified person of the three: Darren Turnquest. He has no HR, Industrial Relations, Pension or Health & Safety experience. He has no experience dealing with Unions or the Labour Board and Tribunal. 

As a result of his selection, one of the Candidates, a long serving Senior Manager in the BTC HR Department, resigned. 

Union Elections are around the corner in June and so are negotiations for new Industrial Agreements. We shall see how Mr. Turnquest fares. 

BTC is in the process of selling BTC’s Headquarters on JFK and moving its Corporate Headquarters to Perpall Track.  

With the exception of Loftus Roker, who built the JFK headquarters and who is still very much alive, other former Ministers with responsibility for BTC, Bernard J Nottage, Bradley B E Roberts and PM Pindling (who dedicated the Building), must be rolling over in their graves. 

When vacating the BTC Headquarters Building, many important, historical documents and artifacts have been shredded or destroyed. History LOST!

Perpall Track is where, over the years, BaTelCo/BTC has had its Stores, Vehicle Depot & Repairs Department. It was never designed for a Corporate Headquarters. 

Hon. Loftus Roker did not think the Citi Bank Building on Thomspon Blvd., where UB has its Bookstore, was good enough for BaTelCo so that’s why the JFK Headquarters was constructed on his watch. 

This should tell you what Liberty Global and BTC CEO Andre Foster think about the value of Bahamians! It should also tell you what the Minnis-led FNM thinks about Bahamians. I forgot. Minnis said he will take care of us in his next term. 

Last week, CEO Andre Foster secretly paid Merit Bonuses to some staff but left many hard working Employees out. 

Staff morale and staff engagement at the Company are at their lowest levels in history. The Unions seem to be handicapped. 

BTC is loosing its Intellectual Property. Seasoned, experienced Managers are fleeing out the door because they are tired, while CEO Andre is importing his friends from CBL. 

The new incoming Administration led by Hon. Philip Brave Davis Q.C. will have much work to do to reduce the bleeding of the 51% of the BTC shares owned by the Bahamian People and to try and restore some semblance of the BTC that once was Number One in the Caribbean. 

Liberty Global, Cable & Wireless and CEO Andre and his Cronies have no commitment to keeping The Bahamas on the Cutting Edge of Technology. 

What value have they added to BTC that BTC could not have added all by itself?

But hey, we ga report and let yinner decide!