Bogotá city govt to study new options for ETB

Monday, July 25, 2011

Colombian capital Bogotá's municipal government will analyze new options for the future of telecoms operator ETB, local newspaper El Espectador reported.

Among the new alternatives to help the telco to obtain additional profits is the provision of additional and innovative services, such as surveillance systems for public entities and private companies.

According to city councilor Jaime Caicedo, ETB has a solid network infrastructure, which enables the firm to also provide innovative services such as tele-education and tele-medicine. "ETB can and should boost its service offering," Caicedo was quoted as saying.

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Caicedo said the telco needs 800bn pesos (US$452mn) to guarantee its operation, and not 1.5tn pesos as was previously announced by ETB president Fernando Carrizosa. "Carrizosa said the telco required this amount to justify the sale of the firm," Caicedo said.

On July 24, Bogotá's city council rejected a proposal to privatize the municipal government's majority stake in ETB, due to alleged procedural irregularities and lack of information.

The mayor's office had presented the council with a plan to sell its 86.6% share in ETB in June, in a move that authorities said would help the operator in an increasingly competitive environment.

In September last year, ETB decided to cancel a search for a strategic partner, since no companies presented offers in the bidding process. ETB was seeking a minority partner to bring in more capital.