Consumer Affairs

Digicel Files for Bankruptcy

Interior of the Digicel Store in the Kaya Grandi, Bonaire. Photo: ABC Online Media

Regional telecommunications giant Digicel has filed for bankruptcy before the Bermuda courts, but it insists that its day-to-day operations will not be affected by the filing.

The bankruptcy filing involves the appointment of three provisional liquidators from KPMG, the global services company. This could be read today on the provider’s website.

Coming days after the company implemented a group-wide salary reduction, the move is being seen as part of Digicel’s attempt to restructure US$1.6 billion of its estimated US$7 billion debt.

Debt burden

Analysts for the longest while have insisted that the Digicel Group has raked up too much debt over the years. In howfar the operations on the ABC islands -where Digicel is also an important player- will be impacted is yet unknown.

While initially growing very fast on the ABC islands with -among others- the takeover of Curaçao Telecom and the launch as first competitor for Setar in Aruba, the last few years the company seemed grow slower than was initially the case.

In Bonaire Digicel took over Telbo NV’s mobile concession to gain traction against UTS/Chippie, only to be confronted with competition by the same Telbo a few years later,after the latter had required a new mobile concession which is operated under the KLA brand. Telbo has a close cooperation with Aruba’s Setar.

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