Ozone facing possible takeover

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Less than a year after setting up shop in Barbados, telecommunications company Ozone Wireless faces possible take over by its competitor Flow.

When contacted Flow’s Director of Communication and Stakeholder Management Marilyn Sealy said she could neither confirm nor deny the reports.

Ozone’s new Head of Marketing Natalie Hartman was also tightlipped on the matter even though Barbados TODAY has been reliably informed that the two sides have been actively engaged in negotiations.

In the meantime, Ozone, which officially began operating here last July, has either severed or lost several key staff members since April, with Managing Director Mark Conway, Chief Executive Officer Sylvain Tassé and Head of Marketing Dianne Squires among those who have parted ways unceremoniously with the telecoms provider.

Hartman also declined to comment on those developments. However, well placed sources say the company has been experiencing severe financial challenges over the past several months and was forced to lay off at least two batches of workers, the latest of whom were given their ‘green papers’ last week and were drawn from mainly the retail and administrative staff.

Ozone was granted a licence to operate in Barbados in 2014 and had pumped about $20 million into its operations up to the point of opening.

Officials had promised at the time that the company would hire over 50 people – over 90 per cent of whom would be Barbadians – while promising over 600 locations across the island where customers could recharge their credit.

However, it has since found the going quite tough and has had to entertain purchase bids from both Digicel and Flow. However, the Digicel discussions did not amount to an agreement.

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