Digicel 'kicking tyres' on stake in Cook Islands firm
Published 16/01/2014 | 02:30
DIGICEL is considering buying a majority stake in the Cook Islands' biggest phone and internet provider, according to local reports.
The telecommunications behemoth is looking into buying Telecom New Zealand's 60pc stake in Telecom Cook Islands (TCI), the Islands' Finance Minister Mark Brown told reporters.
"Digicel is back on the beach, they're kicking the tyres again. They'll probably make an offer to Telecom New Zealand," Mr Brown told the 'Cook Islands News'.
A spokesperson from Digicel said they did not comment on rumours and speculation.
The Cook Islands would be a new market for Bermuda-based Digicel, which moved into the Asia Pacific region in 2006. It has operations in several other Pacfic islands including Vanuatu, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji and Nauru.
Its Asia Pacific business is run by Vanessa Slowey, former Eircell and Eircom executive who is now based in Singapore.
Digicel is thought to have made a number of previous bids, including a NZ$20m (€12m) play for TCI in 2009.
Telecom New Zealand has operated it as a joint venture with the Cook Islands government since 1991. It announced shortly before Christmas that it was thinking about selling its 60pc stake in TCI.