Telstra Purple looks to industrial IoT with pair of acquisitions

Telco's service arm picks up Aqura Technologies and Alliance Automation, which will add around 350 staff.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Telstra Purple announced on Monday it was set to acquire both Aqura Technologies and Alliance Automation, as it claimed to now be the nation's "leading IoT provider".

"Following the acquisitions, Telstra Purple will be able to offer professional and managed services capabilities to deliver industrial-grade wireless and fixed networks in remote and underground operations (Aqura Technologies), while expanding the potential for digital transformation services, industrial automation capabilities, digital twins, smart spaces, and operational technology cyber security (Alliance Automation)," the company said in a statement.

Parting with AU$30 million for Aqura Technologies, Telstra said the company has over 90 staff in Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. For its part, current parent of Aqura, Veris, said that the money paid would be used to retire its debt and allow it to focus on being a "digital and spatial data-as-a-service" company.

The fee paid by Telstra Purple represented 98% of the current Veris market cap. Veris said it planned to demerge Aqura in the second half of the year, and received a number of unsolicited offers to purchase the company.

"Whilst Aqura has been growing strongly under Veris' ownership, the board is of the view that the timing is right to sell the business to provide the Aqura team the opportunity to accelerate this growth further by accessing Telstra's existing sales and customer channels, along with the balance sheet strength to fund further organic growth opportunities via additional investments in sales and technology product offerings," Veris chair Karl Paganin said.

The deal is pencilled in to close on February 28.

The terms of the deal to buy Alliance Automation were not disclosed, however Telstra said the Brisbane-based company has over 250 staff and is focused on IoT industrial automation solutions and control systems.

"These acquisitions will bolster Telstra Purple's presence across mining, energy, oil and gas, utilities, and defence projects, and increase its automation and digital transformation engagements," the telco said.

"Alliance Automation and Aqura Technologies' industrialised capabilities and solutions will also be valuable in adjacent industries including supply chain, agriculture, and manufacturing. "

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