Vodafone has sold its 49% stake in Vodafone Fiji to the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF). The deal closed for FJD160 million (almost $87.5 million).
The operator is now entirely locally-owned, with the majority 51% stake held by Fijian investment manager Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH). FNPF holds a 58% stake in ATH, meaning that its combined direct and indirect ownership totals 79%.
FNPF chief executive Aisake Taito said: “The purchase will allow FNPF members to directly realise the benefits from [Vodafone Fiji's] strong financial performance through a higher dividend share.”
While Vodafone has sold its stake, it plans to remain present in Fiji via a “partner market” agreement. FNPF confirmed that it would continue to use the Vodafone brand, along with some of the group’s proprietary services.
Vodafone has been present in Fiji since the Vodafone Fiji network first went live in 1994. The operator had 745,000 connections at the end of Q1 2014, placing it squarely ahead of its only rival Digicel, which has 230,000.