First deposit made in $182m Bluesky sale

By Lanuola Tupufia-Ah Tong 05 December 2016, 12:00AM

Fiji-government owned company Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Ltd (A.T.H) has made a deposit with Amper SA, to buy its South Pacific business – including Bluesky Samoa.

This was confirmed by Bluesky Samoa Country Manager, Alex Abraham, who told the Samoa Observer the sale process is continuing but he does not know when the transaction is likely to be completed.

“I understand that a deposit has been made by A.T.H. to the parent company in Spain,” Mr. Abraham told the Samoa Observer. 

“There is a regulatory process to go through and at this process I understand it’s progressing. There is no official update of when the transition will be done but everyone is looking forward to the change.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Amper had accepted a US$79million (T$182m) offer from A.T.H to buy its business – including the Bluesky offices in Samoa, American Samoa and throughout the Pacific.

In a statement Bluesky Samoa's chief commercial officer Sanjeewa Perera confirmed that Amper and A.T.H had began the negotiations.

"The strong performance of Bluesky Pacific Group operations in American Samoa, Samoa, New Zealand and Cook Islands has attracted the attention of key telecom operators in the region such as ATH," the statement said.

"A potential acquisition is subject to agreement by the parties on price, terms of acquisition and regulatory approvals.

"Bluesky fully supports its parent company's decision to explore this opportunity and is involved in the discussions to ensure the best commercial decision is made not only for Amper SA and Bluesky Pacific Group operations, but also for its existing local investors, customers and community."

According to Mr. Abraham, Bluesky Samoa remains positive that the sale is a step in the right direction.

He hopes “there will be a lot of synergies between the two businesses with the joining of the two companies therefore bringing benefits back to Samoa.”

The Country Manager said there is an opportunity for A.T.H, which runs Vodafone in Fiji, and Bluesky to share skills and knowledge. 

“If you keep yourself restricted you don’t see it,” Mr. Abraham said the opportunities.

“But if you keep your eyes open, there are a lot of things that we can do together.”

Bluesky Samoa is part of the Bluesky Pacific Group, which is a regional telecommunications group, with its companies providing fixed line, mobile, broadband and I.P.T.V services to consumers in American Samoa, Samoa, New Zealand and Cook Islands.

Bluesky Communications was the first company to launch in American Samoa in July 1999. From its beginnings as a mobile phone company, Bluesky then expanded to also being an internet service provider and then acquiring the local cable TV operator in American Samoa in 2009.

Since then Bluesky and the services offered has grown to what it is today.

Bluesky operates the only submarine fibre optic cable connecting Samoa and American Samoa to Hawaii.

By Lanuola Tupufia-Ah Tong 05 December 2016, 12:00AM

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