ATH awaits approval to complete acquisition

AMALGAMATED Telecom Holdings Ltd is still waiting for approval from US authorities to complete its Bluesky acquisition for American Samoa.

ATH chairman Ajith Kodagoda said discussions on the Bluesky acquisition were still on foot given its multi-jurisdictional nature.

In his chairman’s report in the 2018 annual report for ATH, Mr Kodagoda said requisite approval for non-FCC (Federal Communications Commission) countries Samoa and Cook Islands had been granted.

“The remaining approvals required are for American Samoa, which falls under the jurisdiction of the US authorities, namely the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and various clearances from agencies falling under the Department of Justice known informally as Team Telecom.”

He said so far, the applications were progressing and they expected to receive an update from the US authorities prior to the end of the year.

“In the meantime, since receiving requisite local approvals in mid-2017, ATH and Vodafone Fiji have been supporting the Bluesky management in Samoa on day-to-day operations and aligning them into the group’s objectives.

“During the financial year, FINTEL was awarded rights to manage the segment of the Tui Samoa cable that extends from Suva to Savusavu.

“This allows for further development opportunities we could explore whilst providing the northern island the same connectivity that we enjoy in Viti Levu,” he said.

Mr Kodagoda said tor the region, they would continue to look at opportunities that were accretive to group earnings and contributive to long-term value for their shareholders, all as part of ATH’s strategy of consolidation and investment.

“Wherever they exist, we will explore, and if fits our plan, we will pursue how best to participate in these markets.

“There are obvious key markets like Papua New Guinea and the Solomons that ATH is keen to participate in, but there are also opportunities in other markets in the region that would also be considered.

“In view of the opportunities presenting themselves, ATH will take a measured approach in considering opportunities as they arise to ensure the greatest chances of success.”

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