By Neville Choi – EM TV, Port Moresby
Media Niugini Limited, the parent company of EM TV, the longest running free-to-air television station in the country, and home of National EM TV News and local infotainment, is now 100 per cent PNG-owned.
The official signing of the sale and purchase agreement took place this morning in Suva between Telikom PNG, a subsidiary of the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC), and Fiji Television Limited.
Telikom PNG, through IPBC, now owns 100 per cent of shares in Media Niugini Limited (MNL).
Whilst the sale is still subject to regulatory approval in Fiji and PNG and subject to an “Extra Ordinary General Meeting of Fiji Television Limited”, to be held in March, Fijian Holdings Limited Group CEO, Nouzab Fareed, said both the buyer, Telikom PNG, and the seller in Fiji Television, had agreed on the sale.
“It’s a pleasure to share with you that Media Niugini Limited, which has been for the last eight years owned by Fiji Television Limited, and effectively today that is 5th February 2015, has become a local company in Papua New Guinea.
“It’s an honour and a pleasure to sell this company to Telikom PNG, which is a state-owned enterprise.
“Now, people of PNG can be really proud they own a flagship, a great company with the right capacity and capability, and I’m sure that company can go forward,” Mr Fareed said.
EM TV, under Media Niugini Limited, is Papua New Guinea’s first and longest-running television network, and a profitable subsidiary to Fiji TV, crossing a K25 million revenue mark in the last financial year for the first time ever in MNL’s financial history.
According to Telikom PNG CEO, Michael Donnelly, the acquisition is “good news” for Papua New Guinea, as EM TV continues to set a standard in locally-produced programs.
“We are a PNG-owned company, so the building capability within these companies is very much a part of our vision and mission as opposed to just running commercial businesses.
“There is a convergence in the marketplace, not just between fixed line, business and mobile, but what consumers want to do on those devices.
“Clearly, Media Niugini Limited, being a strong content owner and builder, is very attractive to our telephony customers,” Mr Donnelly said.
He added that as a telecommunication company acquiring a media company, the two can now benefit from each other’s synergies.
Despite the entry of competition in the television media market, with the provision of digital television signals, Telikom PNG plans to implement digital services through MNL’s EM TV within the next 12 months, making EM TV the sole free to air broadcaster using both digital and analogue services.
Meanwhile, in Port Moresby this morning, Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments, Ben Micah, said Media Niugini Limited’s acquisition will now beef up and converge the communications and media broadcasting industry in PNG.
“I can confirm that the acquisition of EM TV by Telikom PNG from Fiji TV has been concluded. IPBC has cleared the sale to go through and as you are now aware, Telikom and Fiji TV have now signed a sale and purchase contract for the sale of 100 per cent of EM TV from Fiji TV, by Telikom PNG,” said Mr Micah.
He says the purchase is a strategic move, and one in line with the current government’s plans to provide a more cohesive and converged output of information, covering all forms of media.
“Telikom as a network provider, as a provider of network services, is going into content by acquiring Datec as the ISP provider, and acquiring EM TV as a media company, and through its existing ownership of FM100, it is now fully integrated in the telecommunication industry from network services to ISP, and also through media,” Mr Micah said.
Minister Micah says with Media Niugini Limited’s experience and industry knowledge, along with Telikom’s network and coverage, the future looks exciting.
“It is a great, positive step for the country and especially Telikom and IPBC, that the main television provider in the country is now in the hands of Papua New Guineans through Telikom and IPBC. This is great news for Papua New Guinea.”