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Uniti gets more greenfields with AU$9.25m Harbour ISP deal

Fresh off the completion of its Opticomm acquisition, Uniti has inked a deal to purchase Harbour ISP.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Uniti has continued its telco shopping spree, announcing on Tuesday it has signed an agreement to purchase greenfields specialist Harbour ISP.

With a maximum purchase price of AU$9.25 million and AU$1 million worth of options for Uniti shares, Uniti said the purchase price would consist of 90% cash and 10% in shares. At the time of writing, Uniti was trading at AU$1.59 a share.

As a result of the deal, Uniti is set to gain 30,000 broadband customers in housing estates and apartment complexes, doubling Uniti's consumer business numbers.

"Of particular strategic significance to Uniti is Harbour's close alliances with a number of national property development companies, including Mirvac," Uniti said.

"In certain instances, these developer alliances see Harbour enjoy 'preferred RSP' status, delivering strong take-up of Harbour broadband services in new greenfield developments via a series of cooperative marketing activities, undertaken with the support and endorsement of the developer."

Last week, the purchase of greenfields broadband builder Opticomm by Uniti was implemented.

A fortnight prior, Uniti gained ACCC approval to functionally separate to operate both as a wholesale and retail provider in greenfield areas.

At the time, the company said the separation would enable it to actively promote its retail brands to around 110,000 connected premises nationwide and an additional 44,000 premises that are currently under construction when they become connected.

Uniti said on Tuesday it has plans to integrate Harbour ISP into its consumer business in under six months and expects an acquistion multiple of under three times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA). By fiscal year 2022, Uniti said it expects Habour ISP to have EBITDA of AU$3 million.

Harbour ISP has been "amongst the most active and effective RSPs" on Opticomm's network for several years, Uniti said.

"Functional separation now enables us to actively promote retail broadband offerings on our owned networks and Harbour ISP, with its proven pedigree in the greenfield broadband market, is an outstanding platform for us to build specific capability as well as scale in our [consumer] business unit," Uniti CEO and managing director Michael Simmons said.

"With the now confirmed addition of OptiComm to the Uniti Group, our network of private fibre premises (connected, under construction or contracted to be connected) exceeds 400,000 connections. Given this large and growing footprint, the strategic value of acquiring Harbour as a specialist greenfield RSP is significant and timely."

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