Uniti Group acquires Australian FTTP network operator OptiComm
Adelaide-based telecom company Uniti Group is set to acquire Melbourne-based fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network operator for $532 million. Uniti has entered a scheme implementation deed with the fibre network operator through which it will acquire 100% shares of OptiComm. The telecommunications company has agreed to pay OptiComm $407 million in cash and will buy 84 million Uniti Shares (equivalent to approximately $125 million) in scrip consideration.
By the end of FY2019, the fibre network company installed 106,000 lots in 245 estates and buildings across Australia and has more customers in its pipeline . Uniti saw this as a growth opportunity to expand its fibre network products into enterprise and business segment market.
More about the acquisition
The Australian teleco Uniti will fund the cash payment via a $270 million fully underwritten accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer along with a $150 million debt facility for 3 years. To OptiComm’s shareholders, Uniti will offer 1 of 5 alternatives for receiving the scheme consideration. Additionally, each shareholder of OptiComm will receive 10 cents for every OptiComm share. The share will be a fully-franked special dividend, subject to the approval of the director.
The deal is subject to a vote by OptiComm shareholders. However, the directors of OptiComm have already advised shareholders to vote in favour of the acquisition.
About OptiComm – An Australian FTTP network operator
Established in 2005, OptiComm is a Melbourne-based telecommunications company that specializes in supplying FTTP network solutions to commercial and residential units. Co-founded by David Redfern and Paul Cross, OptiComm is one of Australia’s largest open-access fibre-to-the-premises network operators. The company has 70,500 active FTTP customers in addition to another 150,000 that are under contract in its pipeline.
If approved by shareholders, the acquisition process is expected to complete by September end. Uniti MD and CEO Michael Simmons said that OptiComm is extremely complementary to Uniti’s existing fibre infrastructure business. He adds that FTTP network operator will provide Uniti with a pipeline of funded organic growth, increased fibre network build capability and a skilled workforce to enhance their services to existing and new customers.
 OptiComm (2019) “Annual Report 2019” [Online] Available from: https://investors.opticomm.net.au/FormBuilder/_Resource/_module/_mJ_mrhlXEOlfRB2zZcvew/AR/OP_AnnualReport_2019.pdf [Accessed June 2020]
Image Courtesy: Pixy
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