It’s official. Bluesky Samoa Limited is under new ownership.
The Office of the Regulator has approved the sale to a Fiji-government owned company, Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (A.T.H.).
This was confirmed by the Regulator, Lefaoali'i Unutoa Auelua-Fonoti in response questions from the Sunday Samoan.
She said the approval was made in June 2017.
“Please be informed that my Office conveyed approval of transfer of control of the current Bluesky Samoa Limited to A.T.H. sometime in June this year,” she said.
“Subsequent to the review of their application with relevant information provided and sought in accordance with section 31 of the Telecommunications Act (“the Act”); with the view of promoting the objectives of the Act enshrined under section 3 of the same Act.”
The approval follows a submission made to the Office of the Regulator last September.
The Sunday Samoan understands that the “acquisition of BlueSky Group is for F$169Million.”
The approval has also been posted on A.T.H.’s website.
“Following the signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement (S.P.A.) on 23, September 2016, it has received formal regulatory approval for change of control of BlueSky Samoa Limited from Amper SA to A.T.H."
“The Office of the Regulator Samoa has given formal approval in accordance with Section 31 of the Samoan Telecommunications Act, consigning to the transfer of control to A.T.H."
“As per the S.P.A, execution of the sale is subject to the usual conditions including the obtaining of appropriate local consents, licenses and permits from respective governments and regulatory authorities."
“Formal regulatory approvals and connects for American Samoa and Cook Islands are still in progress and A.T.H. is still waiting these approvals.”
Last month the Unit Trust of Samoa (U.T.O.S.) inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (A.T.H.).
Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited was incorporated as a public company on 10 March 1998, as a vehicle through which the Fiji government's investments in the telecommunications sector was consolidated for the purpose of privatisation under its public sector reform programme.
A.T.H. commenced operations on 16 December 1998, following the sale of a 49 per cent strategic stake in the company to the Fiji National Provident Fund (F.N.P.F.) as part of a tender in which a number of international parties participated.
The F.N.P.F. subsequently consolidated its control of A.T.H. in September 1999 after it acquired a further two per cent of the issued shares in accordance with contractual obligations. Government's shareholding as a result, was reduced to 49 per cent.
In February 2002, Government sold a further 9.7 per cent of its shares through a Private Placement with institutional investors, including the F.N.P.F. which acquired further shares.
An additional 4.7 per cent of Government's shares were sold in a Public Offer a month later. Government is currently A.T.H.'s second largest shareholder with 34.6 per cent interest, while the F.N.P.F. is the largest shareholder with 58.2 per cent.