Digicel revealed as buyer of Suriname-based UNIQA

24 Sep 2015

According to Bermuda-based Digicel Group’s most recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC, dated 22 September 2015), the international telecoms group has agreed to acquire 100% of the shares of United Telecommunication Services Suriname, which in turn owns 99.993% of International Telecommunication Suriname, a mobile operator which trades under the ‘UNIQA’ brand. As of the date of the Digicel filing, the UNIQA transaction has not been completed and the company has not yet been consolidated in Digicel’s financial statements. Going forward, Digicel intends to integrate UNIQA’s mobile customer base into its existing operations in Suriname. UNIQA generated revenues of approximately USD4.4 million for the year ended 31 December 2013 – the most recent year for which audited financial statements are available – and has a mobile subscriber base of approximately 5,000.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, UNIQA was formed in 2007 as a joint venture between Curacao-based United Telecommunication Services (UTS, 51%) and local firm Intelsur (49%), with the former buying out its partner in due course. In May 2013 it was revealed that UTS had put the loss-making UNIQA up for sale in an effort to focus on its domestic market.

The SEC filing relates to Digicel’s planned initial public offering, which is expected to generate as much as USD2.284 billion. The company notes that its Class A common shares have been approved for listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), subject to official notice of issuance, under the ticker symbol ‘DCEL’.

Suriname, Digicel (Suriname), Digicel Group, UNIQA (became part of Digicel Suriname), UTS (Curacao)