August 23, 2013

FINTEL buy-out

Geraldine Panapasa
Friday, August 23, 2013

AMALGAMATED Telecom Holdings now owns Fiji International Communications Limited (FINTEL) following the successful purchase of $9million for a 51 per cent shareholding in Suva yesterday.

ATH said the transaction was funded through a loan from the Fiji National Provident Fund.

Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca said the sale was part of government's policy decision that was announced in the 2013 Budget Address by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

"Proceeds from this sale will benefit the government in undertaking infrastructural development for the nation," he said.

"The sale allows ATH to receive full dividends from FINTEL who in turn provides return to its major shareholder FNPF, which is distributed to its members."

He said the sale would benefit all parties involved as well as the people of Fiji.

ATH general manager and company secretary Ivan Fong said the transaction would make FINTEL a wholly-owned subsidiary of ATH.

"We hope that end users of shareholders and the government continue to receive benefits of this organisation in years to come," he said.

"We've negotiated with government for the 51 per cent, which is $9m. We've already paid and handed over the cheque. ATH had a 49 per cent holding in FINTEL and previously, we managed government's 51 per cent in FINTEL. What this transaction does is bring FINTEL totally as a subsidiary of ATH."

In terms of management, he said the ability to streamline their operations and integrate their services had now become a lot easier. He said one of ATH's goals was to ensure their strategic assets would help develop the economy.

"With FINTEL, ever since the PM made the budget announcement and we concluded our purchase of London-based Cable & Wireless Communications Plc this year, it has been tracking to our budget expectations," he said.

"However, at the end of the day, the company actually wants its performance to improve. So while we track according to budget, the ambition of ATH and its shareholders is to try to see some improvements around that." He said ATH was looking at trying to secure more business in the region with its acquisition of FINTEL.

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