Second Cook Islands Group Makes Bid For Telecom

admin's picture

Details about make-up of local consortium murky

By Ben Chapman-Smith

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, May 14, 2014) – Details are sparse about the latest local consortium to submit an expression of interest for the purchase of shares in Telecom Cook Islands.

An announcement was made on Sunday that a group of investors has made an offer for the 60 per cent shareholding, currently held by Telecom New Zealand.

CINews’ attempts to find out more about the consortium were unsuccessful as there seemed to be no clear spokesperson for the group.

The expression of interest was submitted by the consortium’s primary representative for the local investors, Brian Baudinet, and the executive management team of Telecom Cook Islands (TCI).

Bluesky, which operates telecommunication and multimedia companies in American Samoa and Samoa, is also involved in the bid.

Baudinet was not able to be reached yesterday because he had left the country. An associate said Baudinet had "gone bush for a few days".

TCI senior management did not respond to a list of questions by the time of CINews’ deadline.

Sales and Marketing Manager Damien Beddoes did confirm that all 18 Cook Islanders in the management team are involved in the consortium and have committed personal finances to the bid.

[PIR editor’s note: Last week Cook Islands News reported that another group of investors headed by "Local businessman William Framhein has joined forces with an overseas telecommunications company and made an 11th-hour offer to buy the Telecom Cook Islands shares."]

Aitutaki Member Of Parliament Teina Bishop said he is supporting the consortium and is searching for locals willing to add to the bid by putting up money for a potential shareholding in TCI.

Bishop said Mike Tavioni is also involved in the bid, and is looking for investors with larger sources of capital to contribute up to $1000 each.

It is not known what level of investment Bluesky will contribute to the offer.

Telecom NZ has entered into a conditional agreement to sell its stake in Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) to Digicel for $23 million.

Locals have about two more months to submit expressions of interest.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment