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DEFENCE COMMS SECTOR MERGER - ASX ANNOUNCEMENT

  • 08 February, 2004 13:26

<p>HEIGHTENED WORLD SECURITY CONCERNS AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO OUTSOURCE WHOLE-OF-GOVERNMENT MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR TECHNOLOGY PURCHASING, PROMPTS COMMS MERGER.
ServicePoint Limited to acquire the Allied Technologies Group</p>
<p>Chairman predicts fast track Voice, Video and Data Secure Network growth to $100 Million turnover in short term.</p>
<p>For more detail please contact Chairman Michael Addison 0414 579 278 or Terry Quinn WordsPLUS 02 9460 0145; 0439 710 418. Websites: www.allied.com.au;www.servicepoint.com.au</p>
<p>SYDNEY: February 8, 2004: The ASX has been notified of a plan to seek shareholder approval for the merger of two specialised Australian communications technology companies currently contracted to build and maintain highly sensitive, secure, voice, video and data networks for major Federal Government Departments including Defence.</p>
<p>The terms of the merger between the privately held Canberra based Allied Technologies Group and secure video conferencing provider ServicePoint Limited, invite existing shareholders to subscribe for shares in the merged company under a Share Purchase Plan.</p>
<p>"This invitation will enable shareholders to participate in a planned fast track growth by acquisition strategy which we are confident will result in a ‘Next Generation Information &amp; Communications Technology Company’ with a turnover in excess of $100 million in the short to medium term," ServicePoint Chairman Mr. Michael Addison said today.</p>
<p>The ability of both companies to win lucrative contracts within sensitive areas of secure government-to-government communications will be enhanced by the fact that the merged organisation will be able to call on a combined team of highly skilled, experienced technical experts, holding appropriate security clearances and who are currently deployed across military bases throughout the country.</p>
<p>"We believe the merger has a market logic that will make it very attractive to investors," Mr. Addison said.</p>
<p>"A formal Notice of Meeting and Share Purchase Plan has been sent to the ASX and current ServicePoint shareholders along with details of the proposed transaction. It is also proposed that the name of ServicePoint Limited be changed to Allied Technologies Group Limited," the Chairman said.</p>
<p>Directors are proposing to undertake a Roadshow to brokers in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane over the course of the next six weeks.</p>
<p>"The merging of ServicePoint’s and Allied’s businesses will result in the creation of a relatively large, profitable and uniquely configured Next Generation Information &amp; Communications Technology Company with an enhanced ability to deliver a broad range of highly secure voice, data, video and web based communications services and solutions at a time when Australia and the World are facing some of their greatest security challenges," Mr. Addison said. "In fact it was the heightened world security concerns – plus opportunities presented by the Federal Government’s decision to outsource $3 Billion whole-of-Government technology purchasing over the next two years – which prompted the decision to merge and expand."</p>
<p>The Allied Technologies Group commenced operations in Canberra in 1991, under the principal ownership and direction of Ray Doak. The Group has experienced significant year-on-year revenue growth since inception, with a budgeted pre-tax profit projection of $1.5 million on revenues of $30 million for the twelve-month period ending 30 June 2004. The group currently operates nationally from its head office in Canberra.</p>
<p>ServicePoint’s operations currently centre on the delivery of secure video and web based visual communication and collaboration services. The company’s principal customer is also the Australian Department of Defence, so the merging of ServicePoint’s and Allied’s businesses creates a logical and powerful force in voice, data, video and web based communications.</p>
<p>The directors are unanimous in supporting and recommending the resolutions required to give effect to the proposed merger, and have each undertaken to vote in favour of the proposals in respect of their entire shareholdings in the Company, representing a total of approximately 68.2% of the outstanding shares in issue.</p>
<p>Key features of the merged group will include:</p>
<p>Positioned in a high growth market – The merged group will be ideally positioned to capitalise on the next wave of emerging business opportunities in the ICT and teleconferencing services markets. Amongst other things, these markets stand to benefit from international and local events that have a capacity to affect international travel and the general security of society e.g. the war in Iraq, SARS and Bird Flu virus, terrorist attacks.</p>
<p>A broad capability across complex solutions – the merged group will possess a broad capability across technologically complex voice, data, video and web based communications services and solutions.</p>
<p>Strong management with a proven track record – both ServicePoint and Allied have a strong and lengthy track record of delivering reliable and functional solutions to Federal Government departments and other major clients.</p>
<p>A blue chip client base – whilst Allied and ServicePoint are principally engaged in core matters of Federal Government security, with key clients such as the Department of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs &amp; Trade, group clients also include other Federal and State Government departments and major blue chip corporates.</p>
<p>Strong contractual cash flows – a major portion of ServicePoint’s and Allied’s business is conducted under the terms of contractual agreements with built-in annuity income streams.</p>
<p>The benefit of strong industry partnerships – the merged group is engaged in the application of best of breed, proven IP solutions provided through strong industry partnerships with companies such as Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, Enterasys, 3com, IBM, Krone, Lucent Technologies, Siemon, ModTap, Panduit, AMP and 3M Volition.</p>
<p>The group is not engaged in any extensive R&amp;D spending on the development of proprietary products or software.</p>
<p>The directors have a clearly articulated acquisition strategy going forward and a number of suitable acquisition targets have already been identified.</p>
<p>ENDS</p>

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