Digicel Group Holdings Limited has announced the sale of Digicel Pacific Limited (DPL) to a subsidiary of the Australian telecommunications firm Telstra Corporation Limited. Digicel Pacific is valued at up to $ 1.85 billion, subject to usual post-closing adjustments and a three-year, $250 million earn-out.
Digicel Pacific has operations in six South Pacific countries: Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga and Nauru. The Digicel brand will remain unchanged in these six markets, and the current Digicel Pacific management team will remain with the company and continue to lead it in providing superior telecommunications services to Digicel Pacific’s loyal clients across the South Pacific.
For the past 15 years, Digicel Pacific has been a strong and expanding telecommunications company in the Pacific. Telstra’s takeover communicates a significant message about the company’s prospects as well as the larger commercial confidence in the Pacific region’s growth.
Denis O’Brien, Digicel Founder and Chairman, commented: “I am very pleased that today’s agreement with Telstra, our very near neighbor in the Pacific, will further enhance DPL’s infrastructure, data and call termination links with one of the largest and most reliable networks in Australia. I thank all of our colleagues in the South Pacific and beyond who have made today possible and I remain committed to ensuring a successful transition in my ongoing role as a director of the newly formed holding company for DPL.”
The acquisition of Digicel Pacific is primarily supported by the Australian government through Export Finance Australia (EFA), which will contribute $1.33 billion to the transaction. This funding will consist of debt and equity-like investments, meant to ensure that the government receives a long-term return on its investment. The acquisition is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2022, subject to usual government and regulatory clearances.