The Antigua and Barbuda government has made a formal offer to Barbados to acquire its shares in the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT.
A statement issued following the weekly Cabinet meeting said that “Prime Minister Gaston Browne indicated to the Cabinet members that he has written to Prime Minister Mia Mottley on the LIAT restructuring plan”.
The brief statement said that “an offer was made for Antigua and Barbuda to acquire the LIAT shares owned by Barbados, through a take-over of the liability of Barbados to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)”.
The statement did not say when the letter had been written but added “no reaction has yet been received”.
Last week, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the shareholder governments – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines – agreed to give further consideration to a proposal by Prime Minister Browne regarding the future direction of the airline.
Gonsalves said that Antigua and Barbuda had made an oral presentation to the shareholders meeting and would present a written document over the next few days.
Gonsalves said he hopes that the proposal from Antigua and Barbuda would be discussed by the shareholders “before the end of May is out”.
Last Friday, Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin said that St John’s was prepared to purchase the shares owned by the Barbados government.
PM Mottley was also present at that conference and did not officially comment on the statement by Benjamin.
Antigua and Barbuda currently holds 34 per cent of the shares and if it succeeds in convincing Bridgetown to part with its LIAT shares, would have 81 per cent of the airline that serves 15 destinations in the region.