ATN increases stake in One Communications
American telecoms company ATN International Inc has increased its equity ownership in One Communications, its Bermuda and Cayman-based subsidiary company.
The Beverly, Massachusetts-based ATN said it now owns approximately 78 per cent of the outstanding equity in One Communications compared to 59 per cent at the end of the second quarter in 2020 after making equity repurchases.
One’s Bermuda subsidiaries are among the island’s largest providers of cellular voice, high-speed internet, subscription television and data solutions for both residential and corporate customers.
The increase in ownership stake was announced by ATN as it reported its second quarter and half-year results.
ATN operates three reportable business segments, US Telecom and International Telecom, the latter of which includes telecommunications service provider One Communications, as well as corporate and all other.
Michael Prior is the chief executive officer of ATN International, and a board member of One Communications.
Explaining the increased investment in OneComm, he told The Royal Gazette: “We know the market, we know the business, we know the team. And we’d rather invest in things we are already invested in. (That) is our approach.
“Almost all the purchases were from other financial institutions from the UK and US. Most of the direct purchases were from folks who needed liquidity, and we provided that liquidity.”
He added: “The company also bought small lots from small shareholders. Even before the company went private, there was not much of a market, not much of a chance to sell shares.”
One Communications Ltd’s shares ceased trading on the Bermuda Stock Exchange as of February 11 this year, some three months after shareholders were asked to vote on the decision at the company’s annual general meeting in November. More than 96 per cent of the votes cast were in favour of the company voluntarily withdrawing its listing from the BSX.
Of ATN’s future plans, Mr Prior said: “We evaluate things as they are, but it’s not our strategy to acquire all of it. We are quite content with our fellow shareholders and hopefully they are content with us.”
Mr Prior said the remaining 22 per cent of the company’s shares are held by a number of Bermuda families, founders of the business, and management, adding: “There are a fair number of smaller shareholders out there.”
The ATN boss said the company’s International Telecom business segment is its biggest unit, adding: “OneComm, both in Bermuda and Cayman, is a good piece of that. It is an important unit, or subsidiary.”
Mr Prior added: “It has been difficult in the region to create growth due to economic pressures. We are believers in the long-term direction of telecommunications infrastructure and the value of it.
“For more than two decades, we have invested in Bermuda. We’ve had some lean years, and some better years, but we have continued to invest.
“It’s a business we know and understand, and it’s a very important part of driving the economy and making things work. In areas where infrastructure is not built out, that’s what we do – we build it out.”
He said examples include a fibre network on the island, and becoming a second mobile provider in Bermuda.
Frank Amaral, chief executive officer of One Communications, said in a statement: “ATN’s increased equity holdings over the last few years demonstrates its continued confidence in the Bermuda telecom market and the performance of the One Communications’ organisation.
“One Communications holds to the strategy of investing in its products, networks and people that keep our customers connected around the clock.”
Net income attributable to ATN’s stockholders for the second quarter was $2 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, compared with the prior year period’s net income attributable to ATN’s stockholders of $4.8 million, or 30 cents per diluted share.
For the six month period ending June 30, net income attributable to ATN’s stockholders was $4.72 million, or 30 cents per diluted share, compared with prior year period’s net income attributable to ATN’s stockholders of $3.73 million, or 23 cents per diluted share.
The company said second quarter 2021 consolidated revenues of $123.9 million were up 14 per cent compared to the prior year quarter’s revenue of $109.1 million, driven by strong increases in broadband and mobility revenues in International Telecom and FirstNet construction revenues in the US Telecom segment.
International Telecom revenues were $86.2 million for the quarter, an eight per cent increase year-on-year mainly due to increases in mobility and broadband revenues in multiple markets from increased subscribers and ARPU.
Carrier services revenues also increased as tourism increased in the US Virgin Islands following the expiration of pandemic-related restrictions for domestic travel, the company said.
Revenue in the International Telecoms segment for the first half of 2021 was $170 million, while the US Telecoms segment reported revenue of $78 million.
Total ATN revenue was $248 million compared with overall revenue of $220 million in the first half of 2020.
The company said International Telecom revenues are generated by delivery of a broad range of communications services, including data, voice and video services from the company’s fixed and mobile network operations in Bermuda and the Caribbean as well as direct government payments as part of the FCC high-cost support programme in the USVI.