Anittel sheds hosting and carrier arm for $6.5m

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Anittel sheds hosting and carrier arm for $6.5m
Anittel's Peter Kazacos

Anittel has agreed to sell its network infrastructure and carrier business to BigAir Group for $6.5 million.

The sale follows a strategic review by PricewaterhouseCoopers and is expected to complete on 31 January 2014, subject to conditions.

According to Anittel's statement to the ASX, "Aside from the significant cash injection and subsequent balance sheet improvement, the sale of these elements of the overall Anittel portfolio of businesses, will enable the company to focus its business around its rapidly expanding hosted collaboration services (HCS) business alongside its well-established IT services and cloud business.

"This enhanced focus will enable greater investment in skills around technologies that are in increasing demand by Australian businesses."

Anittel will continue to reseller its former voice and data services through a channel partnership agreed with BigAir.

On the flipside, BigAir will be able to sell Anittel’s HCS offerings via the BigAir distribution network.

Anittel managing director Peter Kazacos said: "Clients will enjoy enhanced benefits both via Anittel’s greater focus and ability to invest, and by its ongoing servicing capability via the arrangement with BigAir.

"Staff who transfer to BigAir will have enhanced career prospects as will the balance of staff retained in the HCS and IT services focused Anittel," he added.

"This is a transaction that fundamentally recognises and takes into account market trends and the benefits of scale and focus."

[Related: Anittel adds to $17m deal with new govt contract]

The carrier business, Anittel Communications, is expected to regenerate $11-$12 million of revenue and should add more than $2 million in annualised earnings to BigAir.

BigAir chief executive Jason Ashton said: "This acquisition enables BigAir to both broaden and strengthen its communications service offerings in the corporate market, and adds to our existing fixed wireless, unified communications and community broadband offerings.

"The strength of BigAir’s balance sheet and cashflows has allowed BigAir to fully debt fund this acquisition."

Two-time CRN Fast50 winner Anittel reported a full-year loss of $7.3 million on revenue of $50.9 million for the 2012-13 financial year.

BigAir fared better in the 2012-13 financial year, with a 5.5 percent rise in net profit after tax to $5.5 million off the back of $29.9 million of revenue, up 31 percent.

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