StarHub to buy Strateq for SG$82 million

The Singaporean telco wants to purchase 88% of the Malaysian-based data firm.

Singaporean telco StarHub has announced it will pay up to SG$82 million to purchase a majority stake in Strateq, a Malaysian-based data firm. 

Starhub, via its indirect subsidiary in Malaysia, Taman Kenyir Holdings, has signed an agreement with Strateq to purchase 88% of its shares. 

Upon the completion of the acquisition, Starhub said Strateq would be held via Taman Kenyir Holdings, with its two other Malaysian-incorporated entities to be owned by Strateq group chairman Tunku Dato' Seri Shahabuddin and Strateq executive director Dr Ahmad Fikri Bin Hussein.

StarHub CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos said the acquisition is part of the company's transformation strategy to complement its existing fixed and wireless infrastructure operations.

"As every business and government client is involved in digital transformation, data-driven solutions based on systems integration, cybersecurity, data analytics and managed infrastructure services provide the right opportunity for growth," he said.  

"Our existing ICT managed services and cybersecurity capabilities in Singapore and Asia Pacific will be strengthened and diversified following the addition of Strateq to our portfolio."

See also: How 5G technology will change data centers (TechRepublic)

Subject to fulfilling mutually agreed conditions, the acquisition is expected to be completed by the first half of this year.

Last month, StarHub reported full-year net profit had dropped by around 11% year on year to SG$178.6 million due to its core businesses -- mobile, pay TV, and broadband -- all experiencing decreases in revenue.

The telco's enterprise business, meanwhile, increased its revenue by 12.6% from the year prior to earning SG$575 million. Out of the company's various businesses, the enterprise business saw the biggest improvement. The uptick was led by the 80% increase in demand from the enterprise business' cybersecurity offerings, which earned SG$145.7 million.

StarHub submitted a joint bid with M1 to industry regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) earlier this year for one of two nationwide 5G standalone networks. Singtel Mobile and TPG also each submitted their own bids to IMDA.

Telcos that are awarded a licence will be required to deploy the 3.5GHz spectrum band as standalone 5G networks, supporting capabilities such as network slicing and ultra-reliable low latency communications.

For the telcos that miss out on the two 5G licences, the Singapore government said it would still provide two lots of 800MHz mmWave spectrum, which could be used to offer localised 5G services running on their existing 4G networks. Unlike the full-fledged standalone 5G networks however, these smaller networks would offer primarily higher broadband speeds. 

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