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Fiji TV tenancy extended to December

Fiji Television Limited and the Fiji Public Service Credit Union (FPSCU) have agreed that Fiji TV can occupy two floors of their building in Suva until the end of this year. Fijian Holdings Limited Chief Executive Officer Mr Nouzab Fareed told Newswire that the matter has been sorted out. FAREED: “Yes we have settled it. […]

Peni Shute

June 7, 2016 5:30 pm

Fiji Television Limited and the Fiji Public Service Credit Union (FPSCU) have agreed that Fiji TV can occupy two floors of their building in Suva until the end of this year.

fijitv-building
The Credit Union Towers. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)

Fijian Holdings Limited Chief Executive Officer Mr Nouzab Fareed told Newswire that the matter has been sorted out.

FAREED: “Yes we have settled it. There were some misunderstanding for some time but we met with FPSCU this morning and we discussed the issues and we came to some commercial agreement.”

Mr Fareed revealed this after a meeting, which was attended by Fiji TV CEO Mr Geoffrey Smith and General Manager Corporate Mr Nitesh Chand and the General Manager for FPSCU Mr Jone Koroi.

Mr Fareed said they have agreed on new figures regarding the rent and this will be paid until December and that Fiji TV has a business to run and it was best that it focusses on its core business by resolving such operational matters as efficiently as possible.

FPSCU General Manager Jone Koroi said he was pleased with the outcome of today’s talks and was glad to continue the long cordial relationship they have enjoyed as a landlord with Fiji TV dating back to 1994.

The Fiji Public Service Credit Union (FPSCU) will initiate legal proceedings against Fiji Television Limited (FijiTV) seeking eviction from the television broadcasters’ current location.

Lawyers for the FPSU, Diven Prasad Lawyers, told Newswire they would be taking the matter to court and filing the papers by Friday.

Yesterday, the FPSCU sent bailiffs to the location at 20 Gorrie Street and locked the gates.  This prompted FijiTV to call in the police who removed the padlocks.

FijiTV CEO, Mr Geoffrey Smith, told Newswire the landlord did not provide any supporting documents.

SMITH: “They sent a bailiff but did not bring a court order with them so the police came in and removed the padlock.”

Mr Smith said that the issue of rent not being paid for the last three months was not true.

SMITH: “Previously we were paying over $36,000 for five stories, the whole building, so they want us to pay because we have given up two levels that side which Water Authority has moved into. Our lawyers advised us that we can pay three-fifth of the rent that we were paying before and that is what we have been paying all this time.”

Fiji’s first commercial television station is running out of time to relocate after being told to leave by their landlord.

Fiji Television Limited (Fiji TV) has until Sunday to vacate their current location at 20 Gorrie Street, where the company has been located since 1994.

Fiji Public Service Credit Union (FPSCU) owns the three-storey Credit Union Towers.

Fiji TV CEO, Mr Geoffrey Smith, hinted at possible legal action to allow Fiji TV time to remain in its current location.

SMITH: “FPSCU has given Fiji TV a month’s notice until June 5th to vacate.  As a last resort (we) may seek a judicial review of a more reasonable timeline,”

According to Smith, a “sudden spike” in the commercial rent of 50 percent by the landlord has made it “unsustainable” for  Fiji TV to continue renting there.

SMITH: “A recent major restructure of the television company has also resulted in giving up two floors facing Government buildings along Gladstone Road in September last year while the ground floor will also be vacated by the end of June as part of the Digicel takeover of Sky Pacific,”

Mr Smith told Newswire it would take at least three months to relocate. However, FPSCU was not agreeable to an extension.

SMITH: “We are still talking to them (FPSCU) to come to some sort of agreement, but they are not changing their mind.  Our Engineers are saying it should take us about three months minimum.”

Fiji TV’s tenancy agreement with FPSCU had expired in 2008 but since then it had been paying rent on a roll over basis.

The Water Authority of Fiji is currently renting two levels facing Gladstone Road.  Over the past 22 years, the building has housed the former National Bank of Fiji, Fiji Electricity Authority and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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