Fiji-based telecoms group Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) is moving to consolidate its position as one of the biggest players in the South Pacific region with the announcement that it has signed a major financing agreement with ANZ Bank. The financial arrangement will allow ATH to grow following its acquisition of the BlueSky Pacific Group, whose operations cover American Samoa, Samoa, the Cook Islands and a smaller venture in New Zealand. The Suva-headquartered group also controls Telecoms Fiji Limited (TFL), sister company international telecoms services provider FINTEL and Vodafone Fiji, as well as operating telecoms businesses in Kiribati (Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Kiribati) and Vanuatu (Telecom Vanuatu).
Commenting on the agreement, ATH chief executive officer Ivan Fong said: ‘We have a long banking relationship with ANZ, we have been quite pleased that ANZ has thus far been able to support ATH in its expansion journey which started a couple of years ago … For ATH, our track record in terms of bringing improvements both in infrastructure and services in the Pacific has been very positive for us and the end users of the services we provide … we need to have skin in the game so to speak. [A] large part of the requirement will be financed by ANZ Bank but not the overall transaction itself. We announced in 2016, the enterprise value was USD79 million, for the acquisition of [an] ample stake and that amount still remains. We are in the final stage [of the BlueSky purchase], which is about USD40 million which ANZ is financing out of the total. The remainder is a mix of ATH’s own funds and a debt we have taken recently.’