Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT) has cleared the final major hurdle to buying a majority stake in bankrupt Global Crossing Ltd after US communications regulators gave the deal the green light.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said overnight in Washington that it had approved the transfer of licences allowing STT, which is an arm of government-controlled Singapore Technologies Group, to buy a 61.5% stake in Global Crossing for US$250mil.
“The continued operation of the Global Crossing subsidiaries will benefit competition by preventing discontinuance of service and providing customers choices among providers of telecommunications,” the FCC said.
The companies have agreed to security safeguards after the Pentagon and the US Department of Homeland Security expressed concerns about allowing a company owned by an arm of the Singapore government to acquire an American company that operates critical infrastructure.
The protections include guaranteeing US law enforcement agencies access to Global Crossing’s network in the United States for investigations and limiting access by foreigners to those assets.
The pact also establishes that half of Global Crossing’s board will be made up of security directors who are American citizens and have US security clearance.
Global Crossing filed for bankruptcy protection early in 2002 under a US$12.4bil debt mountain amid sagging demand. – Agencies