Posted By Staff Reporter : www.pngfacts.com
Telstra’s Chief Executive Officer Andy Penn was in PNG last month to discuss with the Prime Minister and other Political leaders and Digicel's Managing Director and stakeholders on Telstra’s planned purchase of telco Digicel Pacific.
According to the Australian Financial Review, Mr Penn’s three-day visit to PNG suggested Telstra has stepped up its due diligence to potentially partner with the Australian Government to acquire Digicel and support the Government’s goal of preventing the Pacific telco from falling into Chinese hands.
Australia’s Morrison Government wants to help Telstra prevent China from taking over Digicel’s strategically located telco assets in PNG, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Samoa and Nauru because of concerns that Beijing could use the networks to spy on political elites in the neighboring island nations.
When approached by the Australian Financial Review regarding Mr Penn’s visit to PNG, a Telstra spokesman said last week that the discussions on Digicel are “incomplete and it is not certain a transaction will proceed.”
“Given the nature of these discussions, we are not able to say more at this stage other than any transaction will have to meet certain financial parameters,” the spokesman said.
Digicel Pacific is a commercially attractive asset, enjoying a strong market position in the South Pacific region.
Communications minister Timothy Maisu when contacted by Post Courier said that their discussion with the CEO for Telstra last month is of high level and cannot yet be put out on public media.
Sources: Financial Review & Post Courier / PNG Tech News
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