The new president of Bogota’s telephone company ETB has announced that its merger with the capital’s energy and water companies has been put on hold, Colombian media reported Tuesday.
Saul Kattan Cohen, the new president of Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota, ETB, said, “There will not be a merger as such at first. There are some legal issues like the judicial nature of the companies which prevent this from happening.”
A proposal to create a holding company had been put forward, he added, but the details had not been finalized.
Plans to make sure the public utility companies were not privatized were still in place, said Cohen.
The proposal to merge ETB with Empreses de Energia de Bogota, EEB, and Empresas de Acueducto de Bogota, EAAB, was part of Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro’s election manifesto.
In December 2011 Mayor Petro reiterated his merger plan. The value of ETB then dropped by 17% in three days, causing regulators to suspend share dealing in order to protect investors.
It was announced January 10 that the mayor is to be investigated by a national prosecutor for allegedy stating false or incorrect information which affects the value of shares, considered a financial crime.
Kattan Cohen, a U.S. resident and former president of Video Colombia, which owns the Blockbuster franchise in Colombia, took over from Mario Contreras as the president of ETB Monday.
According to financial publication Dinero, sources close to the company said that Mayor Petro requested the resignation of Contreras.