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The Digicel brand is retained under acquisition by Telstra

By Talaia Mika

APIA, SAMOA – 07 NOVEMBER 2022: The Digicel brand which has been in Samoa and the Pacific for close to twenty years will remain despite full acquisition by Telstra, Australia.

Regional Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Pacific, Shally Jannif said that upon completion of negotiations between Telstra and Digicel Pacific, the Digicel brand will remain.

“Everybody loves and is used to the Digicel brand so we’re not going to take that away from them and also given the tremendous support of our Digicel customers across the Pacific,” she said.

The Digicel Pacific management team will also continue their day-to-day running of the business.

The sale would now see Digicel Pacific’s operations in six countries being taken over as part of the sale agreement and under the same Digicel brand.

Ms. Jannif added that Telstra has partnered with the Australian Government to acquire Digicel Pacific, the biggest mobile operator in the South Pacific region and the deal was completed earlier in July this year.

Telstra is Australia’s largest telecommunications company and is committed to supporting quality private sector infrastructure investment in the Pacific region.

They’ve previously partnered with the Pacific region through the Coral Seas Cable which connects Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Australia.

For Digicel Pacific, Telstra will contribute $US270 million in equity, and the Australian Government, through Export Finance Australia will contribute $US1.33 billion to the $US1.6 billion purchase price and Telstra will own 100 per cent of the ordinary equity.

The US$1.6 billion Telstra-Digicel Pacific sale deal attracted a lot of attention towards the end of last year with foreign commentators claiming the Australian Government was behind the move to starve off Chinese firms from bidding for the region’s main telecommunications provider.

On the completion of the deal, Digicel Pacific will be run as a separate business within Telstra’s International division – this will include maintaining separate P&L and IT systems.

With 1700 employees and around 2.5 million subscribers from retail customers through to large enterprises, Digicel Pacific is the number one telco in Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, and number two in Fiji.