Hawaiki files for transfer of control with the FCC

11 January 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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HCL Limited (HCL), the owner-operator of the Hawaiki Submarine Cable, has filed a transfer of control application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In the filing made in December, transfer of control is listed as moving from HCL Limited Partnership to Palisade Subsea Investments Pty Ltd. It goes on to state that “Palisade will be able to exercise minority rights that may constitute de facto control over Hawaiki Submarine Cable USA (HSC USA), subject to Commission approval.”

The news follows a previous announcement made in September when the two parties entered into an agreement to become equity partners, with Palisade acquiring a significant ownership interest in the cable system.

At the time of the announcement Roger Lloyd, CEO and managing director of Palisade Investment Partners, said: “We are delighted to partner with Hawaiki and its shareholders on this transaction. It is a key part of Palisade’s strategy to seek exposure to the data infrastructure sector, which we believe offers substantial opportunities as our dependency on data and global connectivity continually increases.”

The application details that Palisade holds 30% of the limited partner shares of HCL giving Palisade “negative control (veto power) over approval of certain matters”. In addition, Palisade will have voting and other rights, including the right to appoint three directors.

Speaking exclusively to Capacity, Ludovic Hutier, chief operating officer, Hawaiki Submarine Cable, explained that the filing is a mere continuation of the agreement with Palisade and has no impact on the running and operation of the system.

“The FCC application relates, and is confined, to specific voting rights. The application and its outcome do not relate to the fact and quantum of Palisade’s investment. Neither does that application relate to or affect the continuing ownership interests of the other Hawaiki investors.”  

The 15,000 km, 43Tbps Hawaiki cable linking Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the US, went live in July 2018, costing approximately £300 million.