Macquarie Telecom vies for investor confidence after Vocus sell-off

Macquarie Telecom vies for investor confidence after Vocus sell-off

Vocus sells off $41 million worth of shares in the telco

Macquarie Telecom CEO, David Tudehope

Macquarie Telecom CEO, David Tudehope

Macquarie Telecom (ASX:MAQ) has moved to reassure its shareholders after fellow telco, Vocus Group (ASX:VOC), sold off its multimillion-dollar stake in the company.

Vocus sold its entire haul of more than 3.35 million Macquarie Telecom shares on 27 March, through Bell Potter Securities, at $12.20 each. The sale equated to just under $41 million in total, and represented 16 per cent of Macquarie’s issued share capital.

The shares were sold via a block trade to a “broad range of new institutional and retail shareholders”, Macquarie Telecom said in a statement.

The sell-off comes almost two years after Vocus acquired a 14.5 per cent stake in Macquarie Telecom under an equity swap transaction consideration of $15.62 million.

Vocus said, in an ASX statement published at the time, that it "currently has no intention other than to hold the stake as a strategic investment".

Just prior to its investment in Macquarie Telecom, Vocus announced it would acquire the remaining 90 per cent of the shares in Amcom Telecommunications that were left after it wrested a 10 per cent stake of the company’s shares in late 2014.

Now, Macquarie Telecom is doing its best to instill confidence in its shareholders following Vocus Group’s mass sell-off, saying that it welcomes the release of the shares and suggesting that it will increase the trading liquidity of its shares and improve the diversity of its shareholder register.

“We welcome our new shareholders and are confident that they will benefit from our strategic and operational plans that continue to deliver strong growth in Macquarie Telecom’s revenue and profitability,” Macquarie Telecom chairman, Peter James, told shareholders.

Likewise, Macquarie Telecom CEO, David Tudehope, said: “We are confident that all our shareholders will benefit from the continued growth in our hybrid IT and telecom business, including in particular the strong growth we have in our hosting revenue.

“We are experiencing continued improvement in data centre asset utilisation and, with strong operational leverage, this is driving ongoing growth in profitability,” he said.

On a purely financial basis, the company appears to be going through a period of substantial growth.

In February, Macquarie Telecom reported revenues of $106.8 million for the first half of the 2017 financial year, alongside pre-tax earnings (EBITDA) of $19 million.

At the same time, the company’s net profit after tax for the period was $6.2 million, representing an increase of 214 per cent from the $2 million it reported in the first half of 2016.

At the time of writing, Macquarie Telecom’s share price stood at $13.

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Tags TelcoTelecommunicationsmacquarie telecomVocus


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