Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi has confirmed that the previously announced buyout of BlueSky Samoa, and its sister companies AST Telecom (American Samoa) and BlueSky Cook Islands, by Fijian firm Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH), is still under review by Samoan officials. He is quoted as saying: ‘One of my concerns is the fact that the company [ATH], that is the ultimate buyer, is a company of the government of Fiji. That is the essential problem. It is okay for strictly business but when a government is involved it becomes a problem for other governments as well.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, on 30 August ATH announced that Spain-based Amper had accepted its binding offer for the sale of all of Amper’s interests in the South Pacific. ATH went on to execute a ‘deed of sale’ on 23 September 2016, but stressed that the sale was still contingent on receiving permission from the relevant local authorities.
ATH has taken steps to bolster its Pacific telecoms assets in recent years, and outside of its extensive telecoms interests in Fiji, ATH also owns Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Kiribati Limited [ATHKL]) – previously known as Telecom Services Kiribati Ltd (TSKL) – which it acquired in May 2015.