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Papua New Guinea Sells 50% Stake in State Owned Mobile Operator

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Papua New Guinea's government controlled telecoms operator, Telikom PNG has sold 50 percent of its mobile phone subsidiary, Bee Mobile to an investor group for USD45 million.

Bee Mobile will now be managed by a company called Black Dolphin in partnership with Capital Way Consortium in a 50/50 joint venture. Capital Way Consortium is made up of US based Trilogy International Partners (20%), private equity group, General Enterprises Management Services (20%), Nasfund (5%) and Nambawan Super (5%).

"The joint venture would serve the dual purpose of enabling Telikom PNG to focus solely on upgrading its core network to world status, realising greater value from its international gateway, and improving and realising greater value from fixed line telecommunications network and internet services." said Telikom PNG board member Albert Veratau.

The new investors will aim to float 10% of the company on the local stock exchange after three years.

The company has come under considerable pressure since the launch of Digicel into the market last year and has been seeking outside investors to boost the network capacity in the face of increasing complaints about service quality. Figures from the Mobile World database estimate that Digicel ended the first quarter of this year with around 610,000 mobile subscribers, compared to 275,000 for Telikom PNG.

On the web: Bee Mobile - Mobile World

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Tags: core network  digicel  telikom png  Papua New Guinea