Regulator tells telecom company to get new CEO

Difficulties regarding legal residency status with at least one senior executive at Cable & Wireless (Cayman Islands) Ltd. have led to a formal inquiry by Cayman’s telecommunications regulator, the agency announced late Wednesday.

According to a press release issued by the Information and Communications Technology Authority, the inquiry has raised “serious concerns” about the legal status of “certain persons” in the Cayman Islands. ICTA has requested the appointment of a new CEO for the company.

The release did not specify whom the concerns regarding legal status related to and requests for comment sent to Cable & Wireless Communications and its prospective purchaser, Liberty Global, were not answered by press time Thursday.

Liberty Global – based in the U.S. and U.K. and which is the world’s largest international cable television company – announced in November 2015 that it had agreed to buy Cable & Wireless Communications for US$5.3 billion. The Cable & Wireless board indicated at the time that members concluded the deal, which included settlement of the Caribbean company’s debt, was in the “long-term best interests of the company, its shareholders, employees and customers.”

The Information and Communications Technology Authority, as is the case in all such purchases involving Cayman Islands telecommunications firms, has been reviewing the proposed purchase. The local ICTA Law requires approval of change of ownership involving the companies the authority licenses.

“In the process of conducting its usual due diligence data gathering related to the change of ownership of Cable & Wireless Cayman Islands, the authority uncovered some troubling irregularities,” the authority statement Wednesday indicated.

Authority officials, citing information currently before them which was not revealed, noted authority members believed it was “not appropriate” to consider certain individuals as legal officers of Cable & Wireless (Cayman Islands) Ltd., which is licensed by the authority.

“In order for the authority and licensee to continue to communicate with each other, the authority has requested that the licensee appoint a new chief executive officer who is an individual employed by the licensee and legally resident in the country,” the statement concluded.