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Telstra purchase of Digicel complete

After almost a year of negotiations, Australian telecommunications giant Telstra Corp Ltd has completed the acquisition of Digicel Pacific.

This deal has been backed by funding from the Australian Government. Initially, an after tax dispute between the Papua New Guinea Government and Digicel threatened to stall the sale process.

This means that all Digicel operations in the Pacific have now changed hands, however nothing else will change with the company saying it will continue the Digicel name and brand.

In April, Digicel said it was considering legal options after PNG imposed a tax of almost US$100m. Digicel had said the tax law, which was only imposed after the sale had been agreed upon, could affect the planned US$1.6bn sale of its Pacific operations to Telstra.

“With respect to the PNG additional company tax, Digicel has made arrangements to resolve the matter with the PNG tax authorities,” Telstra said in a statement.

After almost a year of negotiations, Australian telecommunications giant Telstra Corp Ltd has completed the acquisition of Digicel Pacific. Picture : Digicel Fiji

“Telstra is not part of this process, and the outcomes of this process are a matter for Digicel.”

Telstra International Chief Executive Oliver Camplin-Warner, said the deal was an exciting milestone for the Digicel Pacific business and its customers in Fiji.

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As agreed, there will not be any local job losses in the Pacific as part of the acquisition and the current Digicel Pacific team will continue the day-to-day running of the business.

Shally Jannif, Regional CEO Digicel Pacific Hub Markets, said Telstra’s expertise in rolling out a world-class network and connecting remote communities will greatly enhance the work to date of Digicel and benefit the people and businesses of Fiji.

In October 2021 Telstra agreed to buy the Pacific operations of Digicel, with the Australian Government providing US$1.33bn and Telstra contributing US$270m.

Digicel, founded by Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien, is the largest mobile phone carrier in the Pacific, with about 2.8 million subscribers, and has operations in countries including Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu – the most lucrative being those in PNG.

The Australian Government’s move to provide the funding arose from speculation that there was Chinese interest in Digicel.

2 Comments
  1. Passingan Peddy 2 months ago
    Reply

    Great News.!

  2. Linda 2 months ago
    Reply

    Awesome news have always appreciated and love Digicel service the best ever reaching the most remote places in Fiji, definitely the Smarter, strongest, most innovative telecommunications mobile services. Congratulations and look forward to continuing using this service for a lifetime.

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