The sale of 75 percent of SamoaTel Limited’s share capital—equivalent to US$11 million—marks the successful end of 15 months of support provided by Nathan Associates under the auspices of the World Bank.
The shares of the government-owned telecommunications firm were purchased by a consortium led by Blue Sky Communications of American Samoa. The transaction process, managed by Nathan Associates, resulted in the largest privatization sale in Samoa--nearly 2 percent of GDP. In a mere 15 months, Nathan’s experts, led by Bruno Viani and with support from Pratyasha Thapa,
Challenges included attracting investors to a small market and coping with myriad issues raised by the government and bidders in an environment not steeped in the economics of private property, and, understandably, somewhat averse to change. To ensure transparency, data integrity, and sound communication, Nathan Associates established a virtual data room and organized webinars and information conferences that brought together government representatives and potential bidders.
The Nathan team is eager for telecom consumers in Samoa to begin reaping the benefits of the transaction, which, according to many studies amount to half a percentage point of GDP per year.