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Trilogy Buys Into NZ Communications

May 19, 2008

Media Statement


US Telecommunications Investor Sees Opportunity For Third Mobile Operator

Trilogy Buys Into NZ Communications


United States telecommunications investor, Trilogy International Partners, has taken a 25 percent shareholding in NZ Communications, which is currently building this country’s third mobile phone network.

Trilogy has purchased for an undisclosed sum its shareholding from Econet Wireless, the South African based company, which along with the Maori controlled Hautaki Trust, co-founded NZ Communications.

Bill Osborne, Chairman of NZ Communications, said Trilogy’s ownership was good news for New Zealand and consumers as it underlined the company’s commitment to enter the market, and its future ability to offer “competitive alternatives” to mobile phone users.

“Already we are building cell phone towers in Auckland and Christchurch, and will commence building towers in Wellington later this month,” said Osborne.

“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.

“Trilogy, through its founding partners which include John Stanton, one of the world’s most respected telecommunications executives, has the experience and expertise to guide NZ Communications through the barrier of entering a market close to 100 percent saturation.

“Trilogy executives have been leading players in establishing a number of Mobile Networks globally including Irish mobile operator Meteor, which was the third entrant into a saturated market, a similar position to that of NZ Communications.

“Meteor currently has a 19 percent market share.”

Osborne said the significant realignment now taking place within the telecommunications regulatory environment was creating a market where a third operator could succeed.

“These advances are being achieved through a combination of initiatives from the Government, the Commerce Commission and the Telecommunications Commissioner.”

Trilogy’s Stewart Sherriff said its assessment was New Zealand was edging towards a normal OECD type regulatory environment, and provided the momentum was maintained a third operator could be successful.

“Create the right environment and NZ Communications has the products, services and know how to put a compelling proposition to local consumers,” said Sherriff who served as CEO of Meteor for two years.

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.”

Other shareholders in NZ Communications are Hong Kong based General Enterprise Management (GEMS) -25 percent, London based Communication Venture Partners
(CVP) - 25 percent, Hautaki -16 percent, with the right to move to 20 and associated business partners -5 percent.

Trilogy will appoint founding partner, Brad Horwitz, and Stewart Sherriff to the board of NZ Communications.

NZ Communications is based in Auckland, and currently employs more than 120 people.

Trilogy was founded in 2005 and is a privately owned venture company which specialises in technology investments.

Econet Wireless will retain an interest in NZ Communications through an investment in Trilogy and an ongoing advisory relationship with Hautaki

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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