Superloop acquires Brisbane ISP for AU$5.8m

Fibre company Superloop has announced its acquisition of a small Australian wholesale ISP for almost AU$6 million.

Asia-Pacific fibre infrastructure company Superloop has signed a contract to acquire small Brisbane-based internet service provider (ISP) APEXN just four months after listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

The deal will see Superloop provide AU$5.8 million in total to acquire the business, consisting of AU$3.8 million in cash and AU$2 million worth of scrip, with the deal to close on October 16.

APEXN, which operates as Apex Networks, was founded in 2006 as a national wholesale broadband provider, offering telecommunications services, networking solutions, VoIP capabilities, and datacentre services through its channel partners.

"The acquisition of APEXN allows Superloop to rapidly deploy a managed services capability for our wholesale and channel customers via APEXN's IT and product platforms," said Superloop CEO Daniel Abrahams.

"APEXN's platform includes key systems from service qualification tools through to ordering, provisioning, billing, support, and network management. This is particularly important as Superloop expands our fibre network in Singapore."

Post-acquisition, APEXN will remain a brand operating under Superloop, with co-founders Matthew Gregg and Ryan Crouch to continue as general manager of Apex Networks and CTO of Superloop, respectively.

"[We] remain committed to the ongoing implementation and development of APEXN services from within the Superloop group, and, along with the APEXN team, look forward to contributing to the ongoing success of the Superloop group," Gregg and Crouch said in a joint statement.

APEXN is expected to contribute revenues of AU$3 million for FY16.

Superloop was founded by Australian technology entrepreneur Bevan Slattery in 2014, when Megaport's fibre assets were spun off so that Megaport could return its focus to expanding its layer 2 elastic connectivity platform outside of Asia and Australia.

Superloop's 130km fibre network in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane was subsequently sold off to Amcom. In return, Superloop secured a 15-year exclusive lease on the network, which services such customers as iiNet, M2, and Anittel.

After its successful IPO, which raised AU$17.5 million through more than 2,300 investors, the company then listed on the ASX.

The Superloop (Hong Kong) subsidiary was granted a Unified Carrier Licence (UCL) by the Hong Kong Office of the Communications Authority in August, with Abrahams stating that this would enable the company to provide the Chinese territory with fixed-line telecommunications services.

"The UCL allows Superloop to build, operate, and provide telecommunications networks and services in Hong Kong," Abrahams said.

Abrahams had previously told ZDNet that from July, the company would focus on the completion of building out its Australian network and picking up customers.

"We said Q3 of 2015, and that's about to happen. We obviously have this fairly significant milestone under our belt now with the ASX listing, and we committed to make sure the investors understand the growth opportunity that Asia Pacific represents in the telecommunications sector, and particularly in Singapore," he said.

"Post the IPO, it's getting the networks live, and getting the customers onto the networks."

In Singapore, the company acquired and has been installing a 120km duct network underground, with a fibre optic network also currently being rolled out to connect datacentres and submarine cable landing stations.

Abrahams said in June that the dark fibre company would also be targeting telcos and content providers in Asia Pacific, predominantly in Singapore, with the swell in subsea cables and datacentres a major drawcard for the region.

"We see Australia as an important market, but we recognise growth is going to come from Asia Pacific," he said.

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