Senteq sold to ASX-listed telco

Senteq sold to ASX-listed telco

Integrator and value-added reseller Senteq Information Systems has been acquired by ASX-listed telco National Telecoms Group (NTG). No financial details are yet available.

Chairman Jonathon Fisk, who founded Senteq in 1987, was unavailable for comment but CEO Geoff Croshaw confirmed the deal had been completed. Industry sources indicate the company has been on the market for some time.

According to Croshaw, once shareholder approval is obtained, Senteq will become "a fully owned subsidiary of NTG" but other than that it will be "business as usual" for the company, which generates "$40 million" in revenue annually.

"Everything is the same," Croshaw said. "Nothing will change. We've had an ambition to get into telecommunications solutions for quite a while as a way to grow the business."

Continued convergence between voice and data networks means the deal was "a good fit" that "makes sense for both companies", Croshaw said.

"When you look at the issue of convergence, you need to have skills in both voice and data. We have lengthy experience in data, and now with the backing of NTG we have a distinct telecommunications offering as well.

"We are now capable of offering a lot more to our existing customers and NTG itself has a broad customer base that we will also be able to sell our data solutions to."

Croshaw said NTG was also looking to introduce data solutions to its customers and was faced with the option of either building something from scratch or making a suitable acquisition.

Croshaw said settling in under the wing of NTG was not purely a measure to inject additional capital into the company.

"The plan over the last 12 months in this industry has been to consolidate," he said. "This latest development is all about moving onto new and significant opportunities in converged voice and data networks. There are all sorts of synergies in this for both of us to do that."

Croshaw said none of Senteq's 60 staff would be lost as a result of the acquisition and added that both he and Fisk would remain in their existing roles "for a period of time".

The deal is the second acquisition of a data integration company this month by NTG, which has former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett as its non-executive chairman. On April 8, it announced to the ASX that it had acquired ASAP Communications. ASAP is "a specialist telephony integration services company, servicing the Northern beaches and Central Coast business market in Sydney" according to the ASX statement.

Tony Hakim, CEO of NTG, was unavailable for comment.

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