PHILIPSBURG–The St. Maarten Communications Union (SMCU) says it is concerned about reports it has been receiving about talks between the TelEm Group and Digicel regarding the plans for the latter to purportedly acquire the local mobile phone company.
“The intentions are to sell 50 per cent or more of TelCell to Digicel,” SMCU said in a press release on Monday. The union said TelCell is the part of TelEm that generates an income.
The company was restructured in 2012 to reduce personnel costs, which management had said had been the highest cost. “During that period improvements were made by pricing of products/services, launch of new services, the strength of sales was increased and a stronger relationship was increased with our customers. We have streamlined our products and process to improve the overall sales of the company,” SMCU said.
“The books prove that we have been profitable every year with the exception of 2012 due to the restructuring. In addition, we have just obtained two loans for the fibre project. These loans were granted with the projection of the income and profit of TelEm Group, including 100 per cent of cash generated by TelCell.”
The union claimed that the reasons for wanting to sell are not to help take the company out of financial situation, but for other reasons unknown to the union and its members.
SMCU said the islands in the former Netherlands Antilles own their telephone companies and these companies encounter challenges, but the union noted that none of those islands are selling or merging their phone companies. “The union wants to know if you have a financial issue within your household, whether [you would bring – Ed.] another wife or husband in the marriage.”
The union urges TelEm’s Shareholder to halt the sale and or merger of the company. “Digicel is operating on the French side of the island and other countries which has given them a licence to do so. Even if Dauphin or Orange wants to sell all their shares with Digicel that should not be the reason for our management and board to sell TelCell to Digicel. We do not need to sell. All we need to sell is good service to the public of country St. Maarten,” SMCU contends.
Source: Daily Herald
SMCU concerned about talks with TelEm