Wholesale telecommunications provider, Vocus Group, has been acquired by ASX-listed First Opportunity Fund (ASX: FOF) in a $20 million backdoor listing deal.
The purchase price includes $6.5m in cash and 26.9 million in fully paid ordinary shares to Vocus shareholders at an issue price of $0.50 per share. The acquisition is conditional on shareholder approval and will see FOF come under the Vocus Communications brand.
FOF will seek to raise about $6m through a combination of share placements and a public offer to partially fund the acquisition. Vocus CEO, James Spenceley, said in the long run, Vocus would help the company gain a greater public profile as well as access to more capital markets.
“For the core business, it is not going to change what Vocus does, but it does give us access to more money and the ability to address opportunities in the future,’ he said. The deal is expected to be completed by mid- to late June.
Former unwired CEO, David Spence, will become Vocus’ company chairman once it lists on the ASX. All staff will be retained, bringing the combined entity to about 20.
“It’s a very straightforward transaction and the team is focused on maintaining momentum,” Spence told ARN. “It’s very young company, but it’s had a tremendous growth rate. We’re focused on providing a very high level of expertise to customers.”
Vocus has more than 100 customers in the market including iiNet, gotalk, Internode, TransACT and BigAir. In this financial year, the company is forecasting pre-tax profits to reach $4.39m.
- Vocus was founded in March 2008
- It operates a global telecommunications network connecting Australia and New Zealand to the global internet backbone via US.
- Provides telecommunication services to ISPs such as wholesale only IP Transit, data and fixed line voice services.
- It is the only independent IP Transit wholesale company in Australia that doesn’t have a retail ISP offering