ANNOUNCEMENT 25 Aug 2009In August 2009, the government of Belize announced altered domestic business conditions for foreign investors.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
References of the Supreme Court to the Statutory Instruments 104 & 130 of 2009
Notice of Arbitration between BCB and the government of Belize
On 25 August 2009, the government of Belize nationalized the British telecom company Telemedia through the Belize Telecommunications (Assumption of Control over Belize Telemedia Limited) Order, Statutory Instrument No. 104 of 2009.
By this Order the Government compulsory aqcuired approximately 94% of the shares in Telemedia, including 11'092'884 shares beneficially owned by Sunshine and the British Caribbean Bank's (BCB) interest in Telemedia and its subsidiaries.
On 4 December 2009 the government further acquired "all proprietary and other rights and interests whatsoever held by" the BCB through the Belize Telecommunications (Assumption of Control over Belize Telemedia Limited) (Amendment) Order, Statutory Instrument No. 130 of 2009.
On 24 June 2011, the Court of Appeal struck down the 2009 acquisition legislation as being unconstitutional and declared it null and void (Civil Appeal No. 30 of 2010).
Within a couple of weeks, government passed the Telecommunications (Amendment) Act 20115 ('2011 Acquisition Legislation') and made subsidiary Orders to reacquire the same properties including the BCB loan and mortgage facilities. It also passed the Belize Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Act 20117 ('Constitutional Amendment Legislation') to further legitimize the acquisition.