Telstra CEO: Digicel an attractive asset


CANBERRA: Telstra chief executive Andy Penn has broken his silence on the company’s potential acquisition of Digicel Pacific, saying he would join with the Australian government to make the purchase only if it was in the best interests of shareholders.
On Tuesday, Penn said Telstra’s discussions with Digicel and the government about a potential transaction were incomplete.
“Digicel is a very attractive and successful business in the Pacific region and we are having those discussions with government at the moment,” he told ABC Radio.
“We would only do it if we believed it was in the best interests of our shareholders.”
Digicel is the largest owner and operator of 3G and 4G mobile phone networks in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Samoa and Nauru.
The Morrison government wanted to help Telstra block China from taking over Digicel’s strategically located telco assets because of concerns Beijing could use the networks to spy on political elites in neighbouring island nations.
The government was prepared to provide significant debt financing to Telstra, which would take a minority equity stake in Digicel Pacific. – Financial Review

Andy Penn