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[April 05, 2014]
United States : COOK Islands deal agreed by Digicel [TendersInfo (India)]
(TendersInfo (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) To sell 60pc stake in Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) to Denis O'Brien-owned Digicel for NZ$23m ( 14.3m) the Telecom New Zealand has entered conditional agreement.
The sale is expected to go through by the end of next month.
Telecom chief executive Simon Moutter said that his company plans to focus on its New Zealand operations. It sold an Australian subsidiary AAPT to Australian-listed TPG Telecom for A$450m ( 302m) in December.
The Cook Islands, which has a population of approximately 19,500 people, is a new market for Bermuda-based Digicel, which shifted into the Asia Pacific region in 2006. It has operations in numerous other Pacific islands counting Vanuatu, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji and Nauru. Its Asia Pacific business is run by Vanessa Slowey, former Eircell and Eircom executive who is now based in Singapore.
Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown said that Digicel was considering buying the majority stake in the islands' biggest phone and internet provider. "Digicel is back on the beach, they're kicking the tyres again. They'll probably make an offer to Telecom New Zealand," Mr Brown said then.
Telecom New Zealand has controlled it as a joint venture with the Cook Islands government from 1991. It declared shortly before Christmas that it was thinking about selling its 60pc stake in TCI.
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