ATH in Talks to Ac­quire Bluesky Samoa

Pos­si­ble in­vest­ment part of re­gional ex­pan­sion for the lo­cally-owned com­pany

Fiji Sun - - Business - RACHNA LAL EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL Feed­back: rach­nal@fi­jisun.com.fj

Amal­ga­mated Tele­com Hold­ings (ATH) has en­tered into ex­clu­sive ne­go­ti­a­tions with Am­per SA to ac­quire Am­per’s eq­uity in­ter­est in its busi­nesses in the South Pa­cific. Am­per SA is a Spain-based com­pany pri­mar­ily en­gaged in the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions sec­tor. It has coun­ter­signed ATH’s non-bind­ing Let­ter of In­tent which con­veys ATH’s in­tent for the ac­qui­si­tion of Bluesky Samoa. ATH chair­man, Ajith Kodagoda, con­firm­ing this, said the ac­qui­si­tion would be good news for ATH and Fiji. He said the Spain-based Am­per SA feels it is too far for them to con­cen­trate on the busi­ness in the South Pa­cific.

The par­ties an­tic­i­pate this deal to be fi­nalised in ap­prox­i­mately three months, sub­ject to all nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tory ap­provals and con­sents be­ing se­cured. ATH’s of­fer is based on an En­ter­prise Value to EBITDA mul­ti­ple of 6x sub­ject to the out­comes of con­fir­ma­tory due dili­gence, the usual ad­just­ments for li­a­bil­i­ties and req­ui­site reg­u­la­tory ap­provals, li­censes and au­tho­ri­sa­tions. This is part of ATH’s plan for re­gional ex­pan­sion which started off the past year when ATH ac­quired Tele­com Ser­vices Kiri­bati Lim­ited. The com­pany has since been re­named to Amal­ga­mated Tele­com Hold­ings Kiri­bati Lim­ited. Mean­while, in a state­ment is­sued by the Bluesky Samoa’s Chief Com­mer­cial Of­fi­cer, San­jeewa Per­era, it con­firmed that Am­per and ATH have started 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,” he said. “These dis­cus­sions have now com­menced. 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. “Bluesky 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.”

About Bluesky Samoa

Bluesky Samoa is part of the Bluesky Pa­cific Group, which is 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. It ex­panded into Samoa in March 2011 by ac­qui­si­tion of SamoaTel, Cook Is­lands and New Zealand in early 2015. Bluesky op­er­ates the only sub­ma­rine fi­bre op­tic ca­ble con­nect­ing Samoa and Amer­i­can Samoa to Hawaii.

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