The government of Antigua and Barbuda has said that negotiations with Barbados to become the majority shareholder in LIAT (LI, Antigua) have been “put on hold”, the Caribbean Media Corporation has reported.

According to a statement issued after the Cabinet's weekly meeting, the current situation with the negotiations on the ailing regional carrier had briefly been discussed.

“Those negotiations have been put on hold by a number of events in both Antigua and Barbados, and by the counter-offer made by the selling state which Antigua has rejected. No date for the restart of negotiations has yet been set,” the statement said, giving no indication as to which “events” were holding them up.

Talks between the two sides previously broke down on July 8, after just a few hours, as Antigua, which currently holds a 34% stake, had reportedly failed to present an acceptable bid for the acquisition of Barbados' 49% holding. The other shareholders, Dominica, Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, have not been involved in the discussions.

Also in July, Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne commented that the US$44 million Barbados had been asking for was too much, saying his government had no intention of “giving away money”. Barbados has not been providing public statements on the issue.