Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 20-09-2013
Honduras' Government is to privatize 51% of its national telecoms provider, Hondutel, within 120 days. The sale has been already announced, but now the Government intends to speed up the process in order to reduce public expenses and solve Hondutel's crisis.
According to the Honduras newspaper El Heraldo, the plan is to create a mixed company, with public and private capital. "We intend to create a company where a private investor could have 51% of shares, the Government 22.5% and the employees another 22.5%, leaving a margin of 4%," explained Rigoberto Romero, president of the public commission which is working on setting a price for the shares.
The company may be a profitable investment in Latin America, as the whole region is growing, but Hondutel carries $96 million in labour costs and has a debt of nearly $40 million with content providers. This data comes from a Government report which also points to an excessive number of employees and an inefficient structure as the root causes of the telecom's problems.
No final price has been set for the shares, although the commission expects to have this soon. In the past, the only real offer on the table was the one made by Telmex in 2000, which offered $107 million, according to El Heraldo.