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FNPF's $160m buy

Nasik Swami
Monday, July 07, 2014

VODAFONE Global sold its entire 49 per cent stake in Vodafone Fiji to the Fiji National Provident Fund for a whopping $F160million (£ 51m).

This was confirmed by the telecommunication giant's headquarters in England recently.

According to Vodafone Global, the seller is Vodafone International Holdings BV, a wholly-owned a subsidiary of the Vodafone Group.

"Vodafone announces that it has sold its entire 49 per cent shareholding in Vodafone Fiji Limited to the FNPF for a cash consideration of $F160m (£51m). Vodafone expects to continue to have a presence in Fiji through a partner market agreement," Vodafone Global said in a statement.

Responding to questions on Saturday, fund chairman Ajith Kodagoda neither denied nor confirmed the purchase value but revealed the transaction had been completed.

"All I can confirm is that the transaction has been complete," Mr Kodagoda said.

He said the investment was a wise one.

"For the members, it helps diversify the investment portfolio because telecommunication is a high-growth industry and Vodafone in particular has been doing extremely well.

"It's one of the best companies in Fiji for the last 10 years from a return on equity basis. So with increased profitability, the dividends will flow into FNPF and in return FNPF members should be able to enjoy."

While Vodafone Fiji now becomes 100 per cent locally-owned, fund CEO Aisake Taito, in a statement issued at the beginning of this month, said the purchase of the entire 49 per cent stake took the fund's direct and indirect ownership to 79 per cent.

Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited directly owns the remaining 51 per cent shareholding in Vodafone Fiji Ltd.

"FNPF's direct investment in VFL will provide a stronger platform to map strategies for the entire ATHL Group, allowing the realisation of synergies to ensure that returns to members are maximised," Mr Taito said.

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