Swoop acquires Newcastle, NSW-based Countrytell

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Swoop acquires Newcastle, NSW-based Countrytell
Alex West (Swoop)

ASX-listed telco Swoop Holdings has acquired Newcastle, NSW-based telco Countrytell Holdings for $4.2 million.

The acquisition expands Swoop’s coverage in regional New South Wales and adds new services related to data centre operations.

Founded in 2001, Countrytell offers fibre and fixed wireless internet and data centre services to customers in and around Newcastle, the Hunter region, the NSW mid-coast and the Snowy Monaro region. Its data centres are based in Newcastle and the company also has a dark fibre network running in the city.

“Acquiring Countrytell’s network provides another opportunity for Swoop to further expand the coverage of our infrastructure footprint in regional Australia, as well as providing additional services via its data centre operations,” Swoop chief executive Alex West said.

“The company has invested significantly in upgrading its wireless, network infrastructure and transmission capacity; and gives us a strong springboard for continued growth in this market. We look forward to the opportunities this acquisition provides in establishing a Newcastle presence for the Swoop brand.

“I am also excited to be working with this great team again, having previously collaborated when Vocus purchased Ipera from Newcastle entrepreneur Chris Deere, and eagerly welcome the Countrytell customers and staff to Swoop.”

As part of the deal, Swoop acquired a 30-tower fixed wireless network, in addition to the data centre and the recently completed dark fibre network.

The $4.2 million purchase price comprises $2.1 million in cash and $2.1 million in Swoop shares, which the telco said represents a 4.2 multiple of Countrytell’s expected FY22 EBITDA. The acquisition is expected to complete by 31 October 2021.

The acquisition is Swoop’s fourth since listing on the ASX in May this year, following Victoria-based Speedweb, Perth-based Community Communications (ComComs), and South Australia-based Beam Internet.

Swoop, formerly known as Cirrus Communications, reverse listed on the ASX in May via Stemify Ltd, a shell company that previously sold edu-tech products and 3D printers. The company was backed by Vocus co-founder and current Swoop chairman James Spenceley.

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