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Aggressive carrier forms

TELECOMMUNICATIONS carrier and infrastructure developers Amcom Telecommunications and FiberTel Limited have merged to create one of the most aggressive listed players in the high-speed data telecommunications market.

The merger follows FiberTel’s recent $8 million acquisition of a 50 per cent interest in Amcom.

FiberTel had keenly pursued this stake having acquired an initial ten per cent share in the company a few months previously.

It will pay Amcom 25 million shares at a deemed price of 70 cents plus the payment of $2 million in cash payable in installments over twelve months, increasing its own issued capital to around 95 million shares.

The acquisition of the remaining 50 per cent is subject to approval from FiberTel shareholders.

A meeting will be held to this effect in the next three months.

Three days after the merger announcement, FiberTel announced a $6.18 million institutional share placement to accelerate the roll-out of its fibre optic network in non-eastern seaboard CBDs and strengthen its shareholder base.

The placement was for 6 million shares at $1.03 each.

FiberTel managing director Tony Grist said the company would have a cash position of around $14 million following the placement and finalisation of the merger.

Mr Grist said the company also had $32 million in options. He said this would bring FiberTel’s coffers up to around $40 million – more than enough to complete its national roll-out plan.

“Our strategy is to expand the fibre optic network to cover up to thirty Australian regional CBDs.

“This placement will enable us to be more aggressive in our approach and enhance our strategic position,” he said.

Mr Grist said Perth was a great home base and lack of competition in the data telecommunications markets in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne made them ripe pickings.

With regard to the speed with which FiberTel recognised the value of Amcom’s product, Mr Grist said there was no point in sitting around watching the grass grow.

“To give an indication of how fast this industry is moving, consider that there are eighteen listed data communication stocks in the US with a capitalisation of $170 billion. Three years ago that market didn’t exist,” he said.

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Source: Morningstar

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