Telstra has finalised its purchase of Digicel Pacific, the leading mobile telecommunications and network services provider in the Pacific.

The federal government is providing $US1.33 billion in a financing package, through Export Finance Australia, to support Telstra’s commercial acquisition.

Telstra will own and operate Digicel Pacific, which will be overseen by a Telstra-controlled board chaired by Telstra Enterprise group executive David Burns.

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“As a trusted and experienced industry leader, Telstra brings strong capabilities to ensure secure, reliable and high-quality services are provided to Pacific communities, including in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Nauru,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement on Thursday.

“Telecommunications and digital access are critical to sustainable economic growth and development outcomes into the future.”

Trade Minister Don Farrell said the finalisation of the purchase would send a “positive signal of business confidence in the Pacific region”.

“We hope it will encourage further investment in the region from top tier Australian companies.”

Telstra contributed $US270 million of equity to the $US1.6 billion purchase price.

The company had about 2.8 million subscribers and 1700 employees generating $US466 million in service revenue for the financial year ending March 31.

The acquisition comes as leaders meet in Fiji for the Pacific Islands Forum.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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