Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister has squashed plans to purchase Barbados shares in cash strapped LIAT but is prepared to make a substantial capital injection.
Instead, Gatson Browne said that he has told Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley that Antigua and Barbuda have found EC$40 million (KY$12.3 million) to pump into LIAT and no longer wants to buy Barbados’ shares.
According to Browne, the money is to come from a loan from the Venezuela-based ALBA Bank.
“I have indicated that the Antigua and Barbuda government has $40 million that could be made available to capitalise LIAT and that there should be a fresh capital call in which we will have the existing shareholders and possibly new shareholders recapitalise LIAT,” he said.
He said this will be followed by a restructuring of LIAT to ensure that it becomes leaner and to ensure that it can at least make an operating profit going forward.
He said while there will have further discussions the idea that Antigua will purchase Barbados’s shares is no longer an option.
He said however that this would have to be approved by LIAT’s other shareholders.