The Australian Government welcomes today’s announcement by Telstra of its decision to enter into an agreement to acquire and run Digicel Pacific.
Digicel Pacific is the leading telecommunications operator in the South Pacific, providing mobile and network services in Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga and Fiji.
The Government has committed to provide a financing package through Export Finance Australia (EFA) of USD$1.33bn to support Telstra’s acquisition, consistent with Australia’s longstanding commitment to growing quality investment in regional infrastructure. This package will include debt and equity like securities designed to secure the Government a long-term return on its financing.
Digicel Pacific has been a successful and growing telecommunications provider in the Pacific for the past 15 years. Telstra’s acquisition sends an important signal about the company’s potential and about wider business confidence in the future of the Pacific region. EFA is providing financing that enables Telstra to take this commercial opportunity and will bring valuable experience in managing financial and other risks.
The acquisition also reflects the Government’s commitment, as part of its Pacific Step Up, to support the development of secure and reliable infrastructure in the region, which is critical to the Pacific region’s economic growth and development. It will help with the region’s COVID-19 recovery and will support resilience and stability. This is fundamentally in the interests of both Australia and our Pacific family.
As a trusted telecommunications provider, Telstra has helped support the development of critical infrastructure and economic growth in Australia for over 100 years. It is also one of the biggest providers of voice and data services connecting the South Pacific to the rest of the world.
Telstra is committed to ensuring Digicel Pacific provides quality and reliable services to the region, and to forging trusted relationships with Pacific governments.
Following today’s announcement, Telstra will engage with governments in Digicel’s operating jurisdictions regarding regulatory requirements and approvals.