pieNETWORKS in new UK deal

INTERNET kiosk developer pieNETWORKS Limited has announced a second UK acquisition in as many months with the purchase of assets of Pinco 1696 Limited.

The Pinco acquisition follows pieNETWORKS’ September purchase of the assets of Public Internet Services Limited. Both companies were in liquidation.

pieNETWORKS managing director Campbell Smith said the UK acquisitions had breathed new life into the company’s UK operations.

Mr Smith said that before the UK acquisitions, pieNETWORKS UK business operations was dormant and employed no staff.

“We now have an office and staff, which came with the Public Internet Services Limited acquisition, and we are deciding how to move forward from here,” he said.

“We have just started the roll-out of technology this week.

“It’s a fairly classic case of a distressed asset at the right price and we are going to apply superior technology and management.”

Mr Smith said the broad strategy employed by the company in Australia would be applied in the UK.

“The whole concept of the UK business is too similar to the foundation we had in Australia to begin with, which was a large coin operated kiosk network,” he said.

“The Australian business was founded on a network of 200 coin operated kiosks in Australia.

“In the last two years we’ve diversified into other areas, including banking and finance, government, retail and eHR [electronic Human Resources].

“It [the UK acquisitions] will give us the launching pad to go into other sectors, not only in the UK, but into Europe.”

Mr Smith said the UK acquisitions means that pieNETWORKS now owns and operates kiosks across Britain, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Germany and Cypress.

The Pinco 1696 Limited acquisition involves approximately 565 kiosks, 265 of which were operated but not previously owned by pieNETWORKS, together with an additional 300 kiosks held in stock.

The Public Internet Services Limited acquisition included the contractual rights to operate a network of 444 kiosk and purchase of 181 of those kiosks.

The combination of the Pinco and Public Internet Services acquisitions totals approximately 750 kiosks and amounts to a net total acquisition cost of £78,000, or £104 per kiosk.

In a statement the company said the two acquisitions delivered the company significant expenditure savings, estimating that the assets were acquired at approximately 8 per cent of the replacement cost.

The acquisitions are related in that both Pinco and Public Internet Services Limited were subsidiaries of the same London-based company, Public Network plc.

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