Bluesky sold to a Fiji govt.-backed company?

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia ,

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Aoe’e Adolfo Montenegro.

Aoe’e Adolfo Montenegro.

Bluesky Samoa could soon be majority owned by a Fijian government backed company, Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (A.T.H.).

This follows a decision by Amper, the Spain-based company that runs Bluesky in the Pacific, to enter into an agreement to “sell its South Pacific business” to A.T.H. 

According to reports, the transaction is expected to be closed in the next three months.

It was not possible to obtain comments from the Management of Bluesky at press time.

An email sent to Bluesky Pacific Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.), Aoe’e Adolfo Montenegro on Friday was not responded to. Similarly, Bluesky Samoa’s Country Manager, Alex Abraham, did not respond to questions sent to his email. 

Amper owns 75 per cent of Bluesky Samoa. The other 25 per cent is owned by the government through the Unit Trust of Samoa (U.T.O.S.). U.T.O.S. also owns 26 per cent in Bluesky Pacific Holdings Limited. 

Contacted for a comment, U.T.O.S. Chief Executive Officer, Sau Justina Sau, confirmed that they are aware of the reports.  

“At this time, we cannot provide any comments on this matter,” said Sau.  “Except to say that we’re only made aware when the Bluesky Pacific C.E.O emailed us the Google Alert yesterday (Thursday).”

The C.E.O. did not elaborate. 

But the deal was revealed in a Market Announcement document, dated 30th June, 2016, from the Fijian owned company Amalgamated Telecom Holdings.

According to the announcement, “Amper S.A. has countersigned A.T.H’s non binding Letter of Intent to acquire all of Amper’s equity interests businesses in the South Pacific.”

“A.T.H’s offer is based on an Enterprise Value to E.B.I.T.D.A multiple of 6x subject to the outcome of confirmatory due diligence, the usual adjustments for liabilities and requisite regulator approvals, licences and authorizations,” stated the document. 

“The parties anticipate this deal to be finalised in approximately three months, subject to all necessary regulatory approvals and consents being secured.” Earlier last year, Bluesky Group expanded its network in Cook Island taking onboard the Telecom Cook Islands as its newest operation.  The Cook Islands government maintained its 40percent ownership in Telecom Cook Islands. 

Bluesky Communications was established in American Samoa in 1999 and expanded its operations to Samoa in 2011 with a successful bid in the privatization of SamoaTel. 

Bluesky acquired Pacific Island Cable in 2009 and is a provider of cable television services to Samoa and American Samoa through Moana TV. 

Bluesky’s affiliate company, American Samoa Hawaii Cable LLC, brought submarine optic fibre cable connectivity in the country in 2009. 

The group was acquired by eLandia Group in 2006 and now forms part of Amper Group.

About A.T.H. 

The A.T.H Group of Companies comprises A.T.H, Telecom Fiji Limited, Vodafone Fiji Limited, FINTEL, Fiji Directories Limited, A.T.H Kiribati Limited and Datec (Fiji) Limited. 

A.T.H is a public company listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange and is Fiji’s principal telecommunications holding company, through its investments and provision of direct services in a broad range of telecommunications and related services, throughout the Fiji market. 

The Fiji National Provident Fund is the largest shareholder in A.T.H.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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