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Mystery surrounds local Telecom investors

Wednesday 14 May 2014 | Published in Technology


Mystery surrounds local Telecom investors
Mike Tavioni is searching for locals interested in putting in money to purchase the majority stake of Telecom Cook Islands. 14041106

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.

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.