GT&T suspends all dealings with Cel*Star
-until ownership dispute settled
November 12, 2003
The phone company was yesterday advised to cease dealings with Cel*Star (Guyana) Inc, with which it signed an interconnection agreement on April 4, until the dispute over the company's ownership is settled.
Legal counsel for the company, senior counsel Miles Fitzpatrick and Rex McKay, have further advised GT&T that it should abide by any court ruling resulting from the current challenges in Florida and the Cayman Islands against former Cel*Star Chief Executive Officer, Wesley Kirton, and the current owners of Cel*Star Guyana Inc, TWT Caribbean respectively.
Sonita Jagan, Chief Executive Officer of GT&T says one of the bases for the advice was the failure of Cel*Star to provide the proper legal authority to GT&T for Greg Libertiny signing the interconnection agreement on April 4.
She said GT&T was advised that should it continue to implement the interconnection agreement, given the legal challenges and the failure of the firm to provide the proper authority, it would do so at its own peril and should await a determination or settlement of the dispute.
GT&T had asked Cel*Star to provide evidence of Libertiny, as vice-president of TWT Caribbean, having authority to sign the interconnection agreement but the firm has not done so to date. The matter came to a head recently when lawyers for Cel*Star Caribbean, the firm listed as the incorporator of Cel*Star Guyana, put GT&T and the government on notice about its challenge to the legality of TWTC ownership of Cel*Star Guyana and the authority of Kirton to sell shares in the firm.
Stabroek News has since obtained a copy of Cel*Star's file with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, which does not contain any authority for Libertiny to sign the interconnection agreement but has a resolution naming him as a director. However, there is no evidence to date that this resolution was properly filed in the registry.
Additionally, the file reflects that in January 2002, Kirton wrote to the Registrar and informed him that the shares in Cel*Star Guyana were fully paid for in his name. Another improperlyfiled resolution vests these shares to TWTC.
In view of all of this, this newspaper on Monday reported that the interconnection agreement between GT&T and Cel*Star might not be valid given the absence of the legal authority for Libertiny to sign. Efforts to contact Libertiny by phone and email for a comment on this issue have not elicited any responses to date. The new Chief Executive Officer of Cel*Star, Pierre Strasser, was also unavailable.
TWT Caribbean, owned by the Hon Group of Companies controlled by Barry Hon, in June last year struck a deal with Kirton to purchase all of the 500,000 shares he vested in himself to take over the operations of Cel*Star Guyana Inc which was in receipt of a GSM 900Mzh licence to operate a cellular service.
The company, on the basis of a proposed US$20M investment, had been granted a five-year tax holiday but a government source confessed that no due diligence had been done on Cel*Star.
Soon after the company had received its licences, it sold them to Blue Sky Communications of Georgia. But this company went out of business and Cel*Star Caribbean was struck off the register in Florida and Delaware for not complying with regulations. The company seems to have been restored to the register.