Modem manufacturers merge

After weeks of speculation as distributors watched back-orders pile up, Australian Internet access technology vendor Spirit has announced its merger with industry rival Auslinx. According to Spirit managing director Mike Boorne, both companies will continue to operate as separate entities under an umbrella group by the name of JPM Links.

According to Boorne the merger has saved the Auslinx outfit, as the company was on the verge of sinking in a flurry of bad debt.

"Technically speaking Auslinx went broke," Boorne said. "They were hit very hard by the failure of other businesses in the industry such as Edge Technologies."

Under the new merger the Auslinx product range, including the ABC, Tassie Devil and Kookaburra modems as well as the Securecam PC surveillance products, will be rebranded with the JPM Links name. The new deal has also resulted in the consolidation of much of the Spirit and Auslinx data processing services. However, Boorne said that at this stage there were no plans to retrench Auslinx staff.

"The best thing to do when you take on something is try not to implement too much change too quickly," Boorne said. "We will be looking out for opportunities to create efficiencies, however first we needed to arrest the problem they [Auslinx] had in terms of debt owed to them. We are honouring all the Auslinx warranties however we have also taken steps to insure all their future debt."

Boorne also said that the former Auslinx managing director Perry Brenan would continue to operate the new company, and retain a minority share in JPM Links.

Although Spirit and Auslinx did have competing product lines Boorne said there was little crossover between their reseller partners, as a result the merger promises to be a smother process, that it otherwise might have become.