Meanwhile, new details have emerged about one of the local consortiums which has already submitted an expression of interest.
Although Telecom NZ has entered into a conditional agreement to sell its 60 per cent stake to Digicel for $23 million, those shares have had to be advertised in the Cook Islands.
The deadline for rival bids ends on May 10 and at least two consortiums are known to have made offers.
One of those is being led by local businessman William Framhein, who has teamed up with an overseas telecommunications company.
Framhein said his consortium “has the money and the experience” to match Digicel.
Another consortium, led by local businessman Brian Baudinet, has also thrown its hat in the ring.
Included in the consortium are 18 members of Telecom Cook Islands’ (TCI) executive management team, and foreign company Bluesky, which operates telecommunication and multimedia companies in American Samoa and Samoa.
TCI Sales and Marketing Manager Damien Beddoes said Bluesky’s investment represents 33 per cent of the overall $23 million offer.
The remaining investment is coming from Baudinet’s group of private investors and the TCI staff, who have committed personal finances to the bid.
Bluesky, which purchased SamoaTel (now Bluesky Samoa) from the Government of Samoa in 2011, has setup a 25 per cent shareholding in Bluesky Samoa for the people to invest in via the Unit Trust of Samoa.
Beddoes said the consortium would like to offer a similar scheme for Cook Islanders, if its bid is successful.
“That’s one of the reasons we’re working with them, because they already operate a successful model that we can replicate as an opportunity for local individuals and businesses to invest. Local pledges have already been made to initiatives such as Mike Tavioni’s and Teina Bishop’s which could be formalised and potentially invested in TCI through this set up.”
Beddoes said the management team of TCI has had a long relationship with Bluesky and the two have shared resources and expertise to benefit both companies.