NetStar snares Comtech in bold Asia-Pacific push

NetStar snares Comtech in bold Asia-Pacific push

e-commerce solutions provider NetStar has announced its merger with Comtech Engineering and Consultant Company, former subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Vanda Systems & Communications Holdings.

The merger sees systems integrator Comtech become part of the NetStar Group.

Comtech provides solutions for banking and enterprise networks, intelligent buildings and broadband infrastructure in China and Hong Kong.

It is NetStar's second M&A deal so far this year. In March, NetStar signed a merger with China-based systems integrator Intelligent Building Information Systems (IBIS). These two agreements boost the company's staff count to 550. In a statement relating to the announcement, NetStar said this made it one of the strongest IP/Internet network solutions providers in Asia-Pacific, with targeted revenues of over $US150M this year.

NetStar Australia's managing director Kent Brooks said it had a set of methodologies it used universally. This meant its multinational customers could "get the same touch and feel, service level and solution set, regardless of where their offices are throughout the Asia-Pacific region", he added.

According to Brooks, some of the services it offered, such as its network management and customer support centres, were operated on a 24 x 7 basis from Sydney, servicing the entire region.

Brooks said in addition to its offices in China, NetStar also had a presence in Malaysia and Thailand and was "in the throes" of acquiring a company in Singapore. He said in Q4 it also plans to have extended this presence to Korea and the US. However, he added that the US office would be more "strategic", because of the company's vendor partners based there.

Brooks confirmed NetStar is planning another four acquisitions or mergers this year, which he described as "two to do with geographic coverage and two to do with expanding our e-commerce solutions set".

He said time to market was the reason to acquire, rather than grow organically.

Brooks added that it is "no secret" NetStar is considering floating, adding that this could be in nine months, or 18. He said it had not yet been decided whether the IPO would be in Australia or not.

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