Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 14th 2017 Contents COMMUNICATING THE TRUTH
THE CWU SEEKS ANSWERS ON TSTT IMPENDING ACQUISITION OF
The Communication Workers’ Union, (CWU), would like to publicly express its grave concern
with respect to the recent announcement by the Board of Directors of the Telecommunications
Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, TSTT, about their Share Purchase Agreement with
Massy Communications Limited, a Subsidiary of the Massy Holdings Ltd. (Massy).
The Union would like to get some clarity about this situation so that the Union and the citizens
of Trinidad and Tobago can be more educated and informed on such a critical development in
a very key State Entity.
A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF THE MASSY GROUP AND THEIR INTERESTS
Massy Communications is a subsidiary of the Massy Holdings Ltd. (Massy). Massy is a publicly
listed company, with 7,500 shareholders. The owners of the Company includes some institu-
tional investors like the NIB, RBC Trust Limited, Republic Bank and the Unit Trust, plus quite a
number of individual shareholders inclusive of some Directors of the Company. Massy operates
One of Massy’s key business strategies is the pursuit of growth in all Sectors locally,
regionally and in the Latin American Territories.
Massy Communications Limited (Massy Communications) is a Trinidad & Tobago based sub-
nications Limited is to be the leader in next generation technology in the telecommunications
industry hence its vision statement: “Where Next is Now.” Their philosophy is articulated as:
Your Partners, Real People, Sharing your Passion. Massy Communications has partners and
national Telecommunications and Government with multiple classes of voice and data services.
It must be noted that key members of the Massy Holdings Ltd. Board of Directors include Mr.
Robert Bermudez, Chairman, who it is alleged has a close relationship with the PNM Govern-
Shareholder in Massy Holdings Ltd., and Richard Young, Non Executive Director, who is the
the leading institutional investors in Massy is Republic Bank, which ironically is the same Bank
Web they weave when they seek to Deceive!!
THE BENEFITS OF STATE INTEREST IN THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SECTOR
TSTT Is a State Owned Entity with 49% Minority Shareholder Cable and Wireless. The Govern-
ment has 51% Shareholding Interest in TSTT. The Government’s 51% Shareholding is vested
in the National Enterprise Limited, (NEL), an Investment Holding Company Set up in 1999.
TSTT has a strong loyal customer base, with a network and plant infrastructure that covers
almost the entire geographical space of Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, TSTT being the only
a cadre of competent, well educated, knowledgeable and experienced personnel in the Tele-
communications Business. This is a great asset that cannot be matched or duplicated.
The Telecommunications Sector in Trinidad and Tobago is considered to be the hub around
which the advancement of our economy would revolve. TSTT is an Essential Service Pro-
vider and as such must have an intrinsic link to the National Developmental thrust. TSTT is
very critical to our key national developmental objectives such National Security, Economic
sciousness which the CWU believes must be realised through the State involvement in the
Sector are the foreign Multi National Corporations such as Cable and Wireless, Columbus
Communications and DIGICEL. The Caribbean region generates about US 5 Billion dollars
in revenue in the Telecom Sector annually. If we would recall, Cable and Wireless acquired
Columbus Communications which had John Malone as one of its main shareholders. After
that acquisition, John Malone ended up as one of the Major Shareholders of Cable and Wire-
less and subsequently thereafter, his fully owned Liberty Global, acquired Cable and Wireless.
Essentially, meaning that Malone who was bought out by Cable and Wireless, ended up as a
major shareholder in Cable and Wireless and then eventually bought out Cable and Wireless,
a case of “himself to himself”, or as we put it, ‘CORPORATE PROSTITUTION”. It is therefore
indigenous generated revenues, consistent with the provisions of our Constitution and not cor-
porate raiders such as Malone or local tycoons who does not have the national interest at heart.
CONTRADICTIONS IN PUBLIC POSITIONS OF TSTT AND GOVERNMENT
TSTT does not have an Executive Chairman, but the Chairman of the Board of Directors made
the announcement about the Share Purchase Agreement and defended it by stating that it is
an operational issue and as such, there was no requirement to disclose it to the Cabinet or to
the Public Accounts Enterprise Committee of Parliament. If it is an operational issue, then the
Chairman was quite out of place to be speaking to operational issues.
tional $TT 30M Dollars which was announced by the Chairman.
Three (3) Cabinet Ministers publicly stated that neither they nor the Cabinet had any
knowledge of this Acquisition but the Prime Minister subsequently stated that the Cab-
inet was aware of it since it was covered in the Strategic Plan which the Cabinet ap-
proved. As the Recognised Majority Union, we were privy to a presentation of the Company’s
Strategic Plan and nowhere in that Plan was there any mention of any acquisition of Massy
by the Company. So we are left to ask why was there such a haste to enter into this Share
that they have now paid Millions of dollars for.
The Prime Minister stated that there is no Micro Managing at TSTT, but a NON Executive Chair-
man says that he is speaking on Operational issues. This is contrary to the Board’s mandate
which is to deal with Governance, Policy and Strategic initiatives. So who is really “Communi-
cating the Truth”?
MASSY HOLDINGS BIGGER INTERESTS
We verily believe that there is a bigger picture and there is an “End Game” for somebody in this
transaction because it is our very knowledgeable understanding that Massy Holdings has ex-
pressed an interest in acquiring the majority Shareholding at TSTT. It is also public knowledge
that Cable and Wireless must sell their 49% Shareholding in TSTT because of their acquisition
of Columbus Communications. It is also public knowledge that this sale has been postponed
on some four (4) occasions by the Telecommunications Authority, TATT, and the National Enter-
So in the face of this new deadline, all of a sudden and out of the blues, TSTT has announced
Transaction was hustled through just before the deadline date for the sale of the 49% Share-
holding in TSTT, which Massy Holdings Ltd., the parent Company of Massy Communications,
has expressed an interest in purchasing.
QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED
Is this a similar corporate acquisition like that of Cable and Wireless and Columbus Com
munications, where the vendor (John Malone) ended up as the Majority Shareholder of the
Purchaser, (Cable & Wireless), as stated earlier?
in the last National General Election?
Was the appointment of the new TSTT Chairman the facilitative process for this strange
relationship between TSTT and Massy?
Is this a holding strategy to accomplish one of Massy’s key business strategies which is the
pursuit of growth in all Sectors locally, regionally and in the Latin American Territories?
Is it that Massy Holdings is now positioning itself to leverage on its regional presence to
make a Play for a Telecommunications presence in the Caribbean Region, which would
certainly lead to growth in all sectors regionally?
Is this acquisition the precursor to the realisation of Massy Communications stated vision of
being leader in next generation technology in the telecommunications industry? Remember
that their vision statement is: “Where Next is Now.” So is the next move the purchase of the
49% Cable & Wireless Shareholding since they have now initiated this deal?
Why did the Prime Minister publicly support his alleged personal friend, Mr. Elias and pub
licly belittle and embarrass his Cabinet Ministers?
Is it that these Cabinet Ministers do not understand what they are approving at Cabinet
meetings, since the PM stated that the Cabinet gave approval to TSTT’s Strategic Plan, but
others say they did not know anything about any acquisition?
What exactly would TSTT acquire from Massy Communications in this strange Share Pur
What will become of the Human Resources at Massy Communications?
What will be the status of those duplicated Jobs in TSTT and Massy Communications and
by extension, what will become of the workers who occupies those Jobs?
There are a lot of unanswered questions relative to this development, but the CWU, consistent
with its stated mandate to “Communicate the Truth’, is seeking answers to these questions.
Dare to Struggle and Communicate the Truth.
We call on the Chairman of TSTT, the CEO of TSTT and the Prime Minister to “Speak
Truth to Power”, “Communicate the Truth” and enlighten the public about this situation
since they seem to be the only ones who have intricate details about this troubling Share
We await some Public Answers.
“Dare to Struggle”.
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