By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Perry Christie has suggested that negotiations between the Government and BTC’s parent company Cable and Wireless Communications over shares could have played a role in CWC’s CEO tendering his resignation.
Tony Rice, chief executive of CWC, will officially step down from the post on January 1, 2014. Phil Bentley, a former managing director at British Gas, is to succeed Rice.
The company’s headquarters are being relocated from London to Miami, so that executives can be nearer to their operating businesses in the Caribbean.
Mr Christie said: “It (the resignation) may stop negotiations and we have to determine whether the negotiations had some implication to what happened to him.”
He confirmed that Rice had agreed to handing over two-per-cent of the shares but with certain conditions.
With a new chief of CWC set to take over, Mr Christie was unsure of whether the agreement was still standing.
The Prime Minister said he was considering making the conditions discussed between himself and Rice public.
“Last Tuesday we had a negotiating committee presenting to us the submissions of Tony Rice as to settling the position as to the two per cent.
“The committee having received directions from the Cabinet was to go and communicate further with Mr Rice only to be told and advised that this morning (Thursday) he had resigned.
“I don’t want to say now (but) ultimately I may have to publish those conditions.
“He specified what he would want to happen and he wanted a better relationship between the Bahamas Government and Cable and Wireless and other matters.
“I don’t know the implications of his decision and so before I go any further I will have to determine what his resignation means for our purpose.”
In 2011, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham sold 51 per cent of BTC’s shares to CWC despite heavy resistance from Bahamians.