General — 23 August 2017 — by Adele Ramos
New Ashcroft company, Midway, can pursue US$27.4 million arbitral award from Belize, US federal judge rules

BELIZE CITY, Fri. Aug. 18, 2017–U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled today that a Turks and Caicos company formed by the Michael Ashcroft group of companies some months ago can pursue the Government of Belize over a confirmed US$27.4 million arbitral award that was granted as a result of litigation over GOB’s acquisition of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL).

As Amandala reported back in June, Caribbean Investments Holdings Limited, a Michael Ashcroft- related enterprise, had announced the assignment of the arbitral award against the Government of Belize, in the litigation over the nationalization of BTL to a new company, Midway.

According to a report carried by the Washington-based news service, Law360, the judge held that “Belize brought arguments that are ‘meritless and require little discussion’ in trying to prevent Midway Investments Ltd. from taking over the litigation for a $27.4 million arbitration award.”

Previously, the matter was being pursued by CIHL (formerly BCB Holdings) and its subsidiary, the Belize Bank.

CIHL said that the sole reason for the formation of Midway is to pursue collection of the BTL-related award, which is a consequence of the 2005 settlement deed with favorable tax concessions which the Barrow administration repudiated back in 2008, on coming to office.

Meanwhile, Belize is petitioning the US Supreme Court for an appeal of a decision to enforce a US$18.5 million award from the London Court of International Arbitration in favor of the Belize Bank over a sovereign debt guarantee for Universal Health Services, now Belize Healthcare Partners Limited.

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