US-based telco investor Trilogy International Partners has taken a 25% shareholding in NZ Communications, which is currently building this country’s third mobile phone network, NZ Communications announced today.
Trilogy bought the shares from South African company Econet Wireless, which helped establish NZ Communications along with the Hautaki Trust.
The sale price was not disclosed.
Bill Osborne, chairman of NZ Communications, said NZ communications is building cell phone towers in Auckland and Christchurch, and will commence building towers in Wellington later this month.
“We have concluded a roaming agreement with Vodafone, and have a contract with Chinese supplier Huawei Technologies to supply us with the latest mobile phone equipment.
“We are poised to go, and later this year will make an announcement on our definitive launch date," he says in a statement released today.
Osborne said that through the Hautaki Trust, New Zealand would retain a significant investment in the operation.
“It is also pleasing to see that the patience of the founding Maori investors is now on the verge of being rewarded,” he says.
Other shareholders in NZ Communications are Hong Kong based General Enterprise Management (255), London-based Communication Venture Partners (25%), Hautaki (16%, with the right to move to 20%) and associated business partners (5%).
Trilogy will appoint Brad Horwitz and Stewart Sherriff to the board of NZ Communications.