State-backed Fijian telecoms company Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) has formally completed the takeover of Telecom Services Kiribati Ltd (TSKL), Kiribati’s sole operator of mobile, fixed line and broadband services. Local press confirm that ATH has applied for and received a foreign investment certificate in Kiribati and has registered and capitalised Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Kiribati Ltd to complete the transaction.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in April this year ATH emerged as the winner of the government’s auction for 100% of then state-owned TSKL, agreeing to pay AUD7.5 million (USD5.72 million) for the asset. TSKL is Kiribati’s sole operator of mobile, fixed line and broadband services, and operates a 2G mobile network across the Pacific island nation, recently complemented by 3G and 4G in Tarawa and Christmas Island, with a total of about 20,000 subscribers. In addition to mobile broadband and voice, the company offers fixed-wireless WiMAX data services plus ADSL on its fixed telephony network.
ATH operates in Fiji’s telecoms sector via subsidiaries including Telecom Fiji Limited (TFL), Vodafone Fiji, Internet Services Fiji (Connect) and Fiji International Telecoms (FINTEL). Along with its group companies, ATH reported interim consolidated net profit of FJD28.8 million (USD14.2 million) in its third quarter to 31 December 2014, up from FJD12.6 million for the corresponding period of 2013. Total revenues in the third quarter increased by 8% year-on-year to FJD235.6 million and pre-tax earnings rose 53% to FJD55.4 million, while operating costs were ‘slightly reduced’. The holdings group attributed the strong performance to increased earnings from Vodafone, TFL and cost savings at FINTEL, TFL and its directories unit.