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BigAir shareholders approve Superloop acquisition

Over 97 percent of shareholders in BigAir voted for the company's purchase by fibre infrastructure company Superloop.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Shareholders in wireless broadband provider BigAir have approved the proposed purchase of the company by fibre infrastructure company Superloop by a resounding majority.

The vote saw 97 percent of shareholders, which equated to 99.5 percent of available votes, approve the acquisition.

Announced in September, the proposed purchase will see Superloop acquire 100 percent of BigAir shares under either an all-scrip arrangement, which will involve 0.371 Superloop shares per BigAir share at an implied offer price of AU$1.13; or a combination of cash and scrip, which would see AU$0.70 plus 0.118 Superloop shares per BigAir share at an implied offer price of AU$1.06, subject to a AU$95 million cap on the amount of cash that will be paid.

The purchase is set to be funded by AU$65 million raised in September; AU$75 million via new revolving debt facility; and AU$104 million in scrip issued to vendors.

BigAir will now seek court approval for the purchase on Friday; if approved, BigAir shares are to be suspended from ASX trading on the same day, while the implementation date for the transaction is expected to be December 21.

The combination of Superloop and BigAir will allow for the selling of a low-cost 10Gbps download/10Gbps upload access alternative to NBN. Superloop CEO Bevan Slattery has previously labelled NBN's CVC charge as galactically stupid pricing.

"Superloop is developing a leading fibre network across Australia and Asia; BigAir brings to the combined group Australia's largest business-focused metropolitan fixed-wireless broadband network and outstanding cloud and manages IT services capabilities," Slattery said in September.

"In due course, we will seek to leverage BigAir's capabilities across Superloop's entire Asian business."

For the 2016 financial year, BigAir reported revenue of AU$79.7 million; underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of AU$22.3 million; and underlying net profit of AU$9 million. For its part, Superloop reported a full year net loss of AU$7.2 million on revenue of AU$6.99 million for the year.

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