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Contractor general carrying out 'review' of Caricel operator - Ian Moore, George Neil added as company directors

Published:Wednesday | June 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Contractor General Dirk Harrison.

Telecom regulator the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) confirmed that it gave requested information about Symbiote Investments Limited, the holding company for Caricel, to the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) as part of a formal review.

But as to what that review covers, the agencies have refused to say.

"Further to your query about the request for information from the OCG, I write to confirm receipt of the information request to the OUR. The OUR has responded in full to such request. However, we cannot otherwise comment on the matter as it is now the subject of a formal review by the OCG," said Yvonne Nicholson, director of consumer and public affairs at the OUR, via email to Sunday Business.

The OCG similarly responded via email, saying Contractor General Dirk Harrison "will offer no comment"; while Patrick Bailey, a lawyer for Symbiote Investments, said he would have to be briefed by his client in order to respond.

In the meantime, new Companies Office records indicate a recent change of directorships at Symbiote. Effective June 2, Ian Moore and George Neil were added as directors at the same time that Undell Williams resigned.

The other members of the board are Natalie Neil, who became a director in 2013; and Lowell Lawrence. Neil confirmed in a brief phone call on Thursday that George Neil is her husband.

Meanwhile, Moore redirected all queries to David Shaw, who, in turn, said he would address them on Monday. Shaw has been tapped as Symbiote's chairman.


Spectrum licence pending


Caricel is yet to launch operations as its spectrum licence is pending. Although, Bailey said more than a week ago that Symbiote made a first payment to the Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) for the licence, there has been no movement on that issue over the past week.

SMA Managing Director David McBean said on Wednesday there was "no change of status". The agency previously told The Gleaner that licences are only issued after receipt of payment of the applicable fee.

Symbiote has said it plans to pay for the US$21 million ($2.65 billion) licence in tranches.

Ownership in Symbiote is held primarily through an offshore company, Narysingh LLC, with an 89 per cent stake amounting to 85,000 shares. Minette and Lowell Lawrence jointly own 5,000 shares and Undell Williams, 5,000 shares, or around five per cent each.

The principals behind Narysingh were not ascertained.

The name is somewhat similar to Natalie's maiden name, which is listed as Naraysingh on separate Companies Office records.

Caricel aims to roll out an LTE mobile network.