During the 2014 election Kim Dotcom promised to build a second cable crossing of the Pacific. Like everything else he says or promises, nothing has come of it.
After trying to drum up funds since 2006, Hawaiki Cable says it has finally funded a $US350 million fibre cable that will link Australia-New Zealand and the US. It says the build will begin in mid-2018.
If the cable goes ahead, it will break the monopoly the 50% Spark-owned Southern Cross cable has enjoyed on the route since 2000. Southern Cross dividends account for around $60 million of Spark’s profit each year (including $26 million in the first half of 2016).
No one involved with Hawaiki Cable will comment on the funding in detail, but spokeswoman Michelle Boag says the project will turn on three sources of funding:
- Customer pre-sales (all confirmed now that the project has turned “contract in force” with US company TE Subcom, which will build the cable)
- Equity – all New Zealand based: Rich Listers Malcolm Dick and Sir Eion Edgar, plus Hawaiki founder and chief executive Remi Galasso
- Debt provided by TE Subcom
All refuse to say how much they’ve chipped in, or what percentage of the project will be funded by TE Subcom’s vendor financing.