Posted By Staff Reporter
Fiji’s television company Fiji TV today announced its divesting its Papua New Guinea owned television subsidiary Media Niugini Limited for Kina 27 million, or US$9.98 million.
New owners of Media Niugini which runs EMTV in Papua New Guinea is that government-owned telecom company, Telikom PNG. A sale agreement was signed in Suva today by Telikom PNG, FijiTV and owners of Fiji TV, Fijian Holdings Limited.
In announcing the sale before journalists in Suva this morning, Fijian Holdings’ CEO Nouzab Fareed said FijiTV got four valuations done on MTV over the negotiation process.
He also confirmed that no public tender on the sale was called, saying Fiji TV instead approached a number of companies in PNG including Telikom PNG. He said offers FijiTV got ranged from K4 million to a high of K$35 million.
Fareed was not asked but Islands Business had reported earlier that FijiTV had bought EMTV from Australia’s Channel 9 in 2005 for US$1.6 million.
He said necessary shareholders’ and government approvals would be sought in the next 30 to 60 days for the sale to be sealed and effected.
Where does this sale leaves Fiji TV – the television company that is in direct competition with the Fijian Government-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Television headed by Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fareed would not answer directly.
He would not say whether FijiTV is also for sale, only offering that there would be some changes in the future, migrating from analogue to a digital broadcast platform would be among those changes.
He did confirm that the sale proceedings of EMTV would be shared as dividends among FijiTV shareholders. He also admitted that their decision to repatriate EMTV’s K11 million to Fiji last year was a “mistake” as the company copped a huge tax payout.
Michael Donnelly, CEO of Telikom PNG told journalists EMTV’s biggest attraction for the company is the convergence possibilities the acquisition offers. Providing ICT, communication and content in one single service is what customers are looking for today, he said.
He also gave the assurance that the jobs of all of EMTV’s 160 employees are “absolutely secure.” One of their plans is for EMTV to offer analogue and digital parallel broadcasts in the not too distant future.
Telikom PNG adds EMTV to its growing portfolio of media subsidiaries as it already owns FM100 radio station, and it also acquired Datec PNG in 2014.
Source: Islands Business
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